With expectations at an all-time low and analysts lowering estimates left and right, Research In Motion on Thursday reported its results for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2012. RIM posted a surprising beat in the third fiscal quarter when it managed earnings of $1.27 per share on $5.2 billion in sales. At the same time, however, the Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry maker issued worse than expected fourth-quarter EPS guidance of between $0.80 and $0.95, and it said revenue would likely fall between $4.6 billion and $4.98 billion. RIM has now confirmed adjusted net income of $0.80 per share, on revenue of $4.2 billion, down sequentially from $5.2 billion despite the launch of multiple new BlackBerry 7 smartphone models.
RIM said it shipped 11.1 million BlackBerry smartphones and more than 500,000 PlayBook tablets last quarter. Smartphone shipments came in at the low end of its forecast of between 11 million and 12 million units. Wall Street was expecting earnings of $0.81 per share and $4.54 billion in revenue. In the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, RIM posted a profit of $710 million, or $1.27 per share, on $4.08 billion in sales.
The company confirmed that RIM co-founder Jim Balsillie will step down as director and leave the company.
RIM also confirmed during its earnings call that multiple top executives, chief technology officer David Yach and chief operating officer Jim Rowan, will leave the company.
The struggling smartphone vendor said it is facing significant challenges, and it is currently reviewing strategic opportunities and potential partnerships. The company also said that it will dial back efforts in multiple consumer markets and refocus its efforts on the enterprise market.
RIM confirmed that its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone is on track to launch in late 2012.
“The next few quarters will continue to be challenging for our business,” RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said during the company’s earnings call. Heins confirmed that RIM would consider licensing its platform and services to partners, and it would also consider an outright sale if its current efforts to not improve the company’s sliding position.