RIM Makes 4Q Profit but Misses Estimates

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Research In Motion reported a more modest-than-expected quarterly profit for the fourth quarter, and projected first-quarter results would come in below analysts’ expectations, sending shares down sharply in after-hours trading.

Income for the company’s fiscal fourth quarter ended March 4 was $18.4 million, or 10 cents per share, compared to a year-ago loss of $2.6 million, or a penny per share. Excluding settlement and litigation-related charges, income was 65 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter was $561.2 million, up 39 percent from $404.8 million last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected the company to earn, on average, 67 cents per share on $567.19 million in revenue.

Shares of RIM were trading at $78.44 in the after-hours session, down $5.94, or 7 percent, from Thursday’s closing price of $84.38 on the Nasdaq.

For the full fiscal year, the company reported income of $382.1 million, or $1.96 per share, up from $213.4 million, or $1.09 per share the year before. Revenue for the year was $2.07 billion, up 53 percent from $1.35 billion last year.

Looking forward, the company said it expects first-quarter 2007 earnings to be 60 cents to 65 cents per share, or 62 cents to 67 cents per share excluding extraordinary charges and expenses. The company expects quarterly revenue from $580 to $610 million.

Analysts are looking for 76 cents per share earnings on $625.6 million in revenue.

“We have seen a recovery in subscriber additions and business momentum since RIM settled the patent litigation,” Dennis Kavelman, chief financial officer said in a prepared statement.

“We have been very encouraged by the increasingly positive indications from customers and partners over the past several weeks, but we also believe it is important to remain prudent in our outlook as we continue to monitor and foster the post-settlement momentum throughout the first quarter and second quarter,” he added.

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