TORONTO Research In Motion shares surged more
than 8 percent on Thursday after the company hiked its
fourth-quarter subscriber growth forecast to reflect sturdy
The company, which also reaffirmed its revenue and earnings
outlook, now sees quarterly net subscriber additions about 15
percent to 20 higher than the 1.82 million it forecast in
The total BlackBerry subscriber account base is estimated
to reach about 14 million at the end of the quarter.
"Despite the higher sub guidance, RIM reiterated its
revenue and EPS guidance," UBS analysts Jeffrey Fan and Maynard
Um said in a note.
"We believe this reflects inventory burn as operators built
slightly higher inventory ahead of the holiday selling season.
We believe RIM guidance may likely prove conservative."
The company said fourth-quarter revenue is still seen in
the range of $1.80 billion to $1.87 billion, with earnings per
share between 66 cents to 70 cents.
Analysts were expecting a profit of 69 cents a share and
revenue of $1.85 billion, on average, according to Reuters
RIM, which is expanding its customer base from
professionals to the consumer market, is scheduled to report
its results on April 2.
"BlackBerry smart phones proved to be a big hit throughout
the holiday selling season and we're pleased to see RIM's
business momentum continuing in the new year," Jim Balsillie,
co-chief executive said in a release.
"The seasonal slowdown in net subscriber account additions
that we expected in the new year did not occur and our focused
execution with partners has continued to produce strong results
within both enterprise and consumer segments."
A big promotional push from operators, particularly in the
United States, for Christmas and Valentine's Day likely buoyed
the forecast, Fan and Um wrote.
Shares in the Waterloo, Ontario-based company gained 8.5
percent to $106.25 on Nasdaq and 8.8 percent to C$107.77 on the
Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.
The rosier outlook follows a massive service outage in the
Americas last week, which RIM blamed on a problem with a
routine upgrade of an internal data routing system.
(Reporting by Susan Taylor; Editing by Scott Anderson)