Research in Motion – which continues to struggle against its more successful rivals – may choose to pre-announce “poor” results from the current quarter and predicts it could have a "very weak" May quarter, according to analysts quoted in media reports.
Reuters reported there is more than a “50 percent chance that Canadian-based RIM will negatively pre-announce the February quarter," Peter Misek, an analyst with Jeffries, said in a note to clients. He ranked the stock as "underperforming," Reuters adds, and he suspects the company shipped fewer phones than expected during the quarter.
Consumers in the United States – and some other locations – continue to favor Apple's iPhone and phones equipped with Google's Android operating system – rather than the RIM products – such as the BlackBerry.
Analysts were predicting RIM to see fourth-quarter revenue of $4.58 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. The fourth quarter ends on March 3. RIM was scheduled to report quarterly results on March 29.
"We believe Street numbers will likely be revised down given the lack of major new products in the near-term and continued sales challenges due to competitive pressure from both low-end and high-end devices," Misek said in the note quoted by Reuters. Similarly, Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu projects “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),” according to a summary from All Things D.
There appears to be increasing pressure on RIM for the launch of its BlackBerry 10 to be successful, Reuters reported. The phones are supposed to start shipping later this year. Competition may come from the expected launch of the rival iPhone 5 later this year, too.
Thorsten Heins, who recently was promoted to RIM’s CEO, expressed confidence in the company’s current strategy – as of January. Marketing and execution were supposed to be major focuses for the company, and it will be “more consumer driven,” according to a report from TechZone 360.
RIM shares fell about 5 percent on Thursday after Misek’s statement, Reuters said.
Edited by Jamie Epstein