RIM's Q4 profits, revenue exceeds expectations

Research In Motion's fiscal fourth quarter earnings and revenue exceeded expectations, and the company added 3.9 million BlackBerry accounts during the quarter.

The BlackBerry maker had profits of $518.3 million, up from $412.5 million in the year-ago period. RIM had revenue of $3.46 billion, up from $1.88 billion a year earlier and above analyst estimates of $3.40 billion. However, RIM's profit margin dipped significantly, 40 percent from 51.4 percent a year earlier. RIM had predicted margins to fall between 40 and 41 percent. RIM has focused significant resources recently on expanding its portfolio of devices to include more consumer-centric handsets such as the Bold and the Storm.

In February, Research In Motion projected margins and earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter at the low end of its previously announced forecast despite predicting stronger subscriber growth.

"RIM experienced an extraordinary year in fiscal 2009, shipping our 50 millionth BlackBerry smart phone and generating $11 billion in revenue," said co-CEO Jim Balsillie in a statement.

"Looking ahead into fiscal 2010, we see exceptional opportunities for RIM and its partners to leverage the investments and success of the past year to continue growing market share and profitability."

RIM forecasted revenue of $3.3 billion to $3.5 billion for the first quarter and said it expected net subscriber additions between 3.7 million and 3.9 million. 

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