BlackBerry Storm: Press and Be Depressed?
Are Research in Motion customers opting for the company’s Curve and Pearl BlackBerries over the BlackBerry Storm, its new touchscreen smartphone? Or are they trading the Storm in for one of those older models? That would seem to be the implication of the company’s announcement today that its fourth-quarter profits could fall on the low end of forecasts despite good growth in subscriptions.
RIM (RIMM) expects earnings in the fourth quarter to be at the low end of its earlier target of 83 cents to 91 cents a share. An interesting data point to consider in light of the company’s claim that it had “record levels” of net subscriber additions during the month of December and predicts subscriber additions for the quarter ending Feb. 28 to be more than 20 percent higher than previously estimated.
“RIM achieved a very strong start to the holiday buying season and the momentum carried on stronger than expected during the past seven weeks despite a seasonally slower time frame and the challenging economic environment,” co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in a statement. “We are pleased with our leadership and momentum in the market after shipping our 50 millionth BlackBerry smartphone in January and introducing a range of new products that are achieving exceptional early results and helping attract record levels of new customers to the BlackBerry platform.”
Unfortunately for RIM, those “exceptional early results” and “record levels of new customers” don’t appear to be enough to ease investor concerns that its profits are waning. Shares in the company slid more than 17 percent in early trading today.