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Research In Motion Prepares for Cold Winter

By Evan Niu, CFA - Updated Apr 6, 2017 at 6:08PM

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RIM should go into hibernation for next quarter.

The dread continues for besieged BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM).

The self-proclaimed "global leader in wireless innovation" reported gloomy earnings last night. Net income came in at $329 million, or $0.63 per share, dropping nearly 59% from last year's $797 million. Top-line revenue of $4.2 billion dropped by "only" 10% from the previous year, falling short of the $4.5 billion that Wall Street analysts were looking for. Meanwhile, gross margin took a big hit, falling to 38.7% from 44.5%. If you ask me, the only thing that RIM is leading is its own implosion.

The company shipped 200,000 PlayBooks and 10.6 million BlackBerry phones. The (already-reduced) estimates called for 562,000 PlayBooks and 11.8 million BlackBerry phones. The discouraging figures don't paint a pretty picture for the future of the company's QNX platform.

On the conference call with analysts, co-CEO Jim Balsillie even mentioned that RIM was planning on offering PlayBook price cuts to spur sales. RIM's overall shipments were short of the company's internal forecasts, which Balsillie attributed to "lower-than-expected demand for older models."

RIM is betting big on building its own platform from the ground up, while Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) continue to snowball their respective network effects into thriving ecosystems.

For next quarter, RIM is expecting revenue between $5.3 billion and $5.6 billion and adjusted earnings per share in the range of $1.20 to $1.40, compared to the $5.3 billion and $1.36 analysts are modeling for.

The company really isn't heeding warning signs or addressing valid concerns expressed by employees and shareholders. It can't claim that it didn't get those respective letters since they were open letters. The company even publicly responded to an employee open letter, but has yet to make any meaningful change. Until then, RIM shareholders will need to brace themselves for a cold holiday season.

Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Research In Motion. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and Google, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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