Tonight, we're getting the second-quarter financial lowdown on smartphone expert Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM). The mobile market is heating up, but RIM seems to like it. Intrigued? Read on.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or waffle? Twenty-seven Wall Street firms cover this Canadian company, with 18 buy ratings and nine holders among them. In our Motley Fool CAPS database, it's a humble two-star stock, though newly risen from the one-star basement. More than 1,850 Fools have contributed their thumbs-up or down to that rating.
  • Revenue. For the average analyst, $1.36 billion would be enough, up a massive 107% from last year's $656 million.
  • Earnings. The Wall Street consensus points to about $0.50 per share, which would be exactly twice the split-adjusted earnings of last year.

What management says:
In the midst of the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone launch hoopla three months ago, Research In Motion gave guidance for both earnings and revenue way higher than the analysts dared to dream at the time. The expectations quoted above obviously take the guidance into account, and line up nicely with the upper end of each metric's management guidelines.

What management does:
Cash flow has started to catch up with the GAAP earnings take, and that's on top of rejuvenated revenue growth. There's not much to complain about here, folks.

Margins

3/06

6/06

9/06

12/06

3/07

6/07

Gross

55.2%

55.2%

55.5%

55.1%

54.6%

53.6%

Operating

29.9%

28.7%

28.0%

27.1%

26.6%

26.5%

Net

18.1%

16.7%

16.9%

17.2%

20.8%

20.7%

FCF/Revenue

(1.4%)

(3.5%)

(0.6%)

1.2%

15.9%

16.7%

Y-O-Y Growth

3/06

6/06

9/06

12/06

3/07

6/07

Revenue

53.0%

45.0%

39.6%

39.7%

47.0%

57.6%

Earnings

82.2%

32.3%

25.9%

31.2%

68.6%

94.9%

All data courtesy of Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data reflects trailing-12-month performance for the quarters ended in the named months.

One Fool says:
In the earnings conference call, CEO Jim Balsillie said that Apple actually did his company a "great favor" by drawing attention to the smartphone segment. After all, the iPhone was launched in one market through only one carrier -- AT&T (NYSE:T) -- while the BlackBerry could be found in more than 100 markets at the time, through more than 300 carriers.

So if the iPhone whetted your appetite for a smartphone, but you lived in France, Hong Kong, or Guatemala, you could either wait for a local iPhone launch or get yourself a BlackBerry Pearl or Curve.

British and German aficionados can get their iPhone fix in November, again through exclusive carrier agreements with Deutsche Telekom's (NYSE:DT) T-Mobile and O2, respectively. If you're locked into a Verizon (NYSE:VZ) or Vodafone (NYSE:VOD) contract, you may be stuck with BlackBerrys and high-end Nokia (NYSE:NOK) phones for the foreseeable future.

So while the exclusivity of iTunes has helped the iPod to its legendary dominance in music players, a similar lock-in strategy for the iPhone could be great news for the competition. We'll hear all about it tonight.

Fool on:

Vodafone is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try this market-beating publication free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure is the prognosticator of prognosticators.