Good news and bad news from BlackBerry maker Research In Motion: Way after hours at 9:35 p.m., the company announced that it blew its third quarter. But RIM (RIMM) says “exceptional” response to its new gadgets led to record subscriber growth at the end of the quarter.
- RIM says Q3 sales will fall between $2.75-$2.78 billion, below consensus of $2.96 billion and about 9% below its forecasted range of $2.95-$3.10 billion.
- RIM says it added 2.6 million net new subscribers during the quarter, 10% below its forecast of 2.9 million.
- Why? Later than anticipated product launches, the lousy economy, and unfavorable currency trends.
But, on the plus side, RIM says its new Bold and Storm smartphones are seeing an “exceptional” response:
Daily net subscriber account additions reached a record level on the day the BlackBerry Storm launched in the United States and RIM achieved a record number of weekly net subscriber account additions during the last week of the third quarter. The strong demand for new products has continued into Q4 and RIM is working closely with its partners to deliver sufficient product to take advantage of the growth opportunity in Q4 and beyond.
The touchscreen BlackBerry Storm is still backordered at Verizon Wireless. It’ll be crucial for RIM to meet demand there in the next few weeks or it could lose potential buyers to Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone — which would be bad news for Verizon (VZ).
RIM’s after-hours charts haven’t updated on Google or Yahoo, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see its stock open lower Wednesday. Investors have been preparing for bad news from RIM, but its Q3 revenue will come in below even the Street’s most pessimistic analyst.
Next update will be Dec. 18, when the company posts final Q3 results and gives Q4 guidance.
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