I liked BlackBerry wireless technology maker Research In Motion
The company's first-quarter results (ending May 2005) were another slam dunk. Compared with the year-ago quarter, sales lofted 69% higher, approaching the high end of company guidance.
GAPP net earnings went from a loss of $2.6 million in last year's comparable quarter to earnings of $110.1 million (excluding litigation charges and a favorable $27.0 Canadian tax recovery). That's $0.56 a share, sports fans -- one cent better than the consensus analyst estimate and equal to the high end of the company's guidance.
The company is on track to earn $2.49 a share this year. That would price RIM stock at 30 times expected earnings -- hardly a lofty multiple for such a rapidly growing company.
There's still plenty of fodder for the boo-birds sitting on the sidelines asking, "What about NTP and its email technology patents? Is there a court settlement or isn't there?" It's true that a settlement would remove a dark cloud hanging over the stadium, but that issue won't be resolved today.
There's also the software threat coming from Microsoft's
These are all valid concerns, but don't forget that RIM booked 592,000 new customers last quarter. It's still rolling ahead and still top dog in its market.
The company is everywhere. RIM's press releases are full of instant-messaging partnerships with IBM
This observer's only concern is RIM's admittedly rare service outages. If they continue, they will hand competitors a marketing opportunity to paint RIM as a less reliable option.
Meanwhile, traders are reacting to this evening's news like it was an airball -- way off target. The stock is down 2% pursuant to RIM's earnings announcement.
Research In Motion is finally generating cold, hard cash. But as competitors crowd the field and pricing power inevitably declines, how far and how wide the can company can spread its technology? Analysts foresee a 35% increase in earnings for the fiscal year ending February 2007 (assuming the company meets current-year expectations). I believe that the future is bright. Research in Motion shows no signs of dropping the ball.
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