NEW YORK (Reuters) - Research in Motion reported a sharp drop in quarterly profit and slashed its full year outlook on Thursday, citing “challenging” conditions and delays in introducing new products.
Shares of RIM -- the maker of BlackBerry -- fell 15 percent in late U.S. trade after the earnings report.
“The company is going into the abyss of a transition and even if they get a new model, it’s a new model on the old platform. Unfortunately, they already gave us the roadmap, with QNX being their entry back into the high end of the market, and that’s 2012.”
“So while the new Bold certainly looks nice, it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s going to be coming any time in the middle of the summer, maybe before the end of the summer, which is the end of September. It’s not going to impact next quarter, and it’s clear that’s reflected in next quarter’s guidance.”
“We’ve got to hear that they can execute. One of two things: either that they can execute on the QNX platform to be competitive on higher end, or that they’re able to adjust their business model to survive in the middle part of the market.”
“Our bearish low industry estimates were not conservative enough,” he said citing a disappointing August quarter and full year guidance.
“I have to get more color from the call. There’s been some delay in the ramp of new products. They’re losing share in the meantime because of this void.”
“You’re seeing increased competition internationally hurting (average selling prices) and gross margins. They’re feeling that a little more acutely than most,”
He said that PlayBook sales appeared good if the sales number reflected consumer demand rather than sales to retailers.
“The guidance was surprisingly weak. Many expected some kind of reset, but it looks like they are doing a fairly big reset. But on the flip side it’s actually good that they are setting expectations more realistically.”
“The outlook is definitely quite cautious. There was some expectations that it would be difficult, but this guide down looks probably worse than expected, and shows that the BlackBerry smartphones are definitely under some pressure.”
“RIM has two fairly large advantages. They have a fairly large install base of BlackBerry users globally, so that’s one asset. And they have a fairly strong brand name, so they will have to build on that.”
“History tells us not to write off RIM. Over the last few years people who’ve written off RIM have often been proved wrong, and I think the fact of the matter is that when you look at the PlayBook and what they’ve delivered with QNX, just over a year after the acquisition they’ve made some phenomenal progress.”
“But what is also clear is they are in the middle of a very significant transition in terms of software platforms, and that is going to take some considerable time.”
“So I have little doubts that RIM will come back with a full and competitive portfolio of products, but I think it’s likely to get worse before it’s going to get better, and it’s going to be not dissimilar to Nokia in the sense that it’s probably going to be well into calendar 2012 before we see a cohesive portfolio from RIM again.”
PETER MISEK, MANAGING DIRECTOR, JEFFERIES & CO, NEW YORK
“The guidance was just awful. The devices are receiving less shelf space and less support from carriers.”
While Misek said that PlayBook sales for the first quarter were pretty good, he was disappointed by handset sales. His key question for the company is when it will launch QNX phones.
“People are not waiting. They’re going to other platforms,” he said. “I would expect there’s going to be significant layoffs. This is not good. This is not good,”
Reporting by Sinead Carew in New York, Euan Rocha, Allison Martell and Trish Nixon in Toronto; compiled by Paul Thomasch