Well, Whaddya Know — RIM’s Subscriber Base Isn’t in Decline
After a brutal, unceasing beating that has dragged it to nine-year lows, Research In Motion’s stock price is on the rise again. On Tuesday, RIM shares, which had been sunk deep in the mud for a while now, closed up 5 percent at $6.60.
The reason? A rare bit of good news in an otherwise bleak landscape of tablet disappointments, missed BlackBerry 10 deadlines, leadership shake-ups and layoffs.
During his BlackBerry Jam Americas keynote, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said the company managed to add about two million subscribers to its BlackBerry service in its most recent quarter. It had about 78 million when it reported fiscal first-quarter earnings in late June. Now it has some 80 million.
And that’s great news for investors who had begun to fear that RIM’s subscriber additions are leveling out and might even decline for the first time this quarter. The caveat here is that these additions are probably occurring in emerging markets, one of RIM’s few growth areas. And they’re being driven by some pretty aggressive subsidies, which may cause the average selling price for BlackBerrys to drop. The BlackBerry’s ASP hasn’t exactly been stable recently, so further volatility is a danger.
RIM will report second-quarter earnings on Thursday after market close. Analysts are expecting a loss of 45 cents a share, the company’s third consecutive loss.