Research In Motion
Reporting earnings on the eve of Apple's long-awaited product release, RIM blew away its own guidance figures on both the revenue and net income lines, with record growth in subscriber additions to boot.
The quarter contained two high-profile product launches in the business-minded BlackBerry 8830 and the more consumer-oriented Curve, both of which ended up selling very well, indeed. These models are in the process of rolling out across the globe, and management is very fond of detailing that development -- model by model and country by country.
I can't really blame them for that bald-faced excitement. The numbers really tell the story here, and delivering the first quarter of billion-dollar revenues just ahead of perhaps the most-hyped competitor launch ever -- even by Apple's standards -- essentially proves the lack of overlap between the two companies' user demographics. BlackBerry is mostly for the corporate crowd, while the iPhone is aimed squarely at the dudes and dudettes on Main Street. For a peek at what happens to direct competitors, take a look at the dismal report Palm
All of this begs the question why RIM is a one-star CAPS stock -- not just today, but pretty much every day since we started that service. The majority of over 1,200 users with an opinion on the Berry farmer say that the stock can't match an S&P 500 index fund for investor value. User comments usually point to inflated valuation or an insanely crowded marketplace.
Well, the trailing and forward P/E ratios -- as flawed as that measurement may be -- just dropped a handful of points on these much-improved net results. And RIM keeps proving the addictive nature of its products -- the company sold nearly two million phones this quarter, for example, but added only 1.2 million new service subscribers. The rest were existing customers itching for the latest and greatest upgrade. Most of those hardcore addicts wouldn't look twice at an iPhone, no matter how sexy it is, and the BlackBerry gravy train will keep rolling for many more quarters -- or years.
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