Ina Fried

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Research In Motion Warns Earnings to Fall Short Amid Weak BlackBerry Sales

Research In Motion warned on Thursday that its current quarter sales and earnings will fall short of earlier estimates amid lower-than-expected sales of its signature BlackBerry devices.

In a statement, the company said it now expects sales for the quarter ended May 28 to be in the range of $1.30 to $1.37 per share, down from the $1.47 to $1.55 per-share earnings forecast it issued just a month ago.

“This shortfall is primarily due to shipment volumes of BlackBerry smartphones that are now expected to be at the lower end of the range of 13.5-14.5 million forecasted in March and a shift in the expected mix of devices shipped towards handsets with lower average selling prices,” RIM said.

It did say that it expected shipments of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to be in line with what it had expected and that it has “not experienced any significant supply disruptions…due to the impact of the Japan earthquake.”

The company also said it expects to achieve full-year fully diluted earnings per share of approximately $7.50, reflecting “anticipated strong revenue growth in the third and fourth quarters of the fiscal year driven primarily by the launches of new BlackBerry smartphone products and prudent cost management.”

After a brief halt for the news, RIM shares fell $5.50 or more than 9% to $51.09 in after-hours trading.

The company said it will hold a conference call later on Thursday.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus