Research In Motion earnings to offer better look at struggling BlackBerry maker | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Research In Motion earnings to offer better look at struggling BlackBerry maker

Three people on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange display their BlackBerry smartphones in this Wednesday, May 30, 2012 file photo. Troubled BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion says it's cutting 5,000 jobs from its global workforce as it restructures its business. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Richard Drew

TORONTO - A glimpse into the state of struggling BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion will be revealed later today when it issues first-quarter results.

The company has already said it will report an operating loss for the period, but investors are also waiting to see how much its sales have fallen as competitors steal a bigger piece of the market.

RIM shares were little changed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in early trading, up one cent to $9.45.

The Waterloo, Ont. smartphone pioneer is working on new operating system and phones due later this year, but it hasn't released a new BlackBerry for quite some time and that has likely also hurt sales.

The company is also expected to book charges related to layoffs and costs associated with the roll out of its new technology.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected RIM to post a loss of a penny per share, while its revenues will fall about 37 per cent to $3.1 billion.

RIM's earnings will be released after market close at 4 p.m. ET.

Uncertainty has engulfed the future of RIM in recent months as speculation swirls over whether the company could be bought, or forced to sell off certain pieces of its operations to survive.

Canaccord Genuity technology analyst Michael Walkley says RIM's leaders have few options but to sell the business.

"We believe RIM management will need to sell the company," Walkley said Thursday in a research note to clients.

"We do not believe BB10 devices will turn around its struggling business."

At this point, RIM is only selling phones that have already been on the market for some time, making its competitors' new products appear more cutting-edge.

Walkley estimates 6.9 million BlackBerry smartphones were sold during quarter ended June 2 and predicts a decline to 5.5 million in the coming quarter.

The company has been strongly criticized for delaying BB10, but executives have insisted they want to get this right rather than face an onslaught of bad reviews, like those that came after it rushed the releases of the BlackBerry Storm touch screen and the PlayBook tablet.

However, the postponed launch date could run the BlackBerry unveiling directly into competition with Apple's debut of the latest iPhone, which is the dominant smartphone in the North American market.

If RIM waits too long it will also miss the crucial September launch season when many smartphones hit the market in an attempt to grab the attention of students heading back to school and early holiday shoppers.

Executives at RIM have said the company intends to focus more on its enterprise business, or the big companies that buy smartphones in large quantities. Still, many of its sneak previews of the BB10 system have focused on flashy applications and features more akin to the consumer market, such as photo editing software and games.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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