RIM’s Progress Weighed Down by Dusty BlackBerry Portfolio
When Research In Motion next reports earnings, they’ll likely fall toward the low end of its own guidance. That’s the word from Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, who says supply chain checks suggest that the company’s loss of momentum to Android and iOS continues without interruption.
Evidently, the company’s newer handsets are selling fairly well. Sadly, the same cannot be said of its older ones, which are still well-represented in the BlackBerry portfolio. Making matters worse, the updated Curve 9350 isn’t doing as well as expected.
“We are picking up that the company’s higher-end BlackBerries, including the Bold 9900 and Torch 9800, are doing relatively better as users are attracted to their form factors that combine a touchscreen and keyboard,” said Wu. “[But its] other BlackBerries, which still make up a large portion of its mix, including the pure touchscreen Torch 9850, appear below plan. In addition, the reception on its recently refreshed Curve 9350 appears lukewarm.”
Given those factors, Wu figures handset shipments for the quarter will be about 11.3 million (down from 11.9 million), revenue about $4.55 billion (down from $4.7 billion) and earnings per share 86 cents (down from 95 cents).
In other words, RIM’s competitive position doesn’t seem to be improving much. Which isn’t to say that it won’t, looking ahead; just that the uphill climb facing the company might be a bit steeper than originally thought, particularly when its BlackBerry 10-based devices aren’t scheduled to ship until the “latter part” of 2012.