Posts Tagged ‘RIMM’

RIMM and Blackberry Got Their Mojo Working Again

April 3, 2009

Late yesterday, Research In Motion reported blow-out earnings, and increased its sales and profit forecast for the current quarter. The beaten-down stock promptly jumped off the carpet and sprung back to life with a 22% surge in after-hours trading.

As my colleague Arik Hesseldahl reported, RIMM just went a long way towards restoring its once-sterling reputation with investors:

The upbeat forecasts and better-than-expected results went a long way toward alleviating concern that RIMM was sacrificing profitability in its battle with iPhone maker Apple (AAPL). RIM’s stock has tumbled from an all-time high of 148.13 in June as the company raised spending on tricked-out phones designed to better compete with the popular music-playing, Internet-connected iPhone. RIM has had a lot to prove to investors, says RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky. “The first is coming out of the penalty box on margins,” Abramsky says. “The second is a reset with investors of their confidence in RIM’s leadership in the smartphone industry. Tonight’s results will help them do both.”

Check out the rest of his story here.

Steve Jobs on the Recession: “We’ll be fine.”

October 22, 2008

Great companies are producing solid earnings so far. Yesterday, Apple was the latest company to turn out solid resultsin the Panic of 2008. Still, Apple’s forecasts for revenue and earnings going forward were lower than analysts expected. So Apple may be fine but they are not immune from the slowdown.

My colleague Arik Hesseldahl covered the announcement.

“Steve Jobs may not be sure how much the economic slump will hurt Apple, but he’s clear on this: It won’t be as bad as pessimists predict. And for the first time in eight years, he got on an analyst conference call to discuss quarterly results to make sure the point wasn’t lost on anyone.

“We may get buffeted by the waves a bit, but we’ll be fine,” Jobs said on the call, following the release of Apple’s fiscal fourth-quarter results.

Evidence of the buffeting may already be showing up. Apple (AAPL) reported $7.9 billion in sales, below the average estimate of analysts, which had come in at $8.05 billion. As for the fiscal first quarter, which includes the all-important holiday selling season, Apple forecast sales of $9 billion to $10 billion, more than $500 million less than analysts were expecting. Per-share earnings will come in at $1.06 to $1.35, at least 30¢ below the consensus estimate. CFO Peter Oppenheimer said the company was being “prudent” in light of the uncertain economy.”

The other stunning news. Apple sold more cell phones than RIMM, which Jobs gleefully pointed out on the call. Having released its second iPhone product, the iPhone 3G in July, Apple sold 6.9 million iPhones, besting the 6.1 million BlackBerrys that RIM sold during the quarter ended Aug. 30.

Read the rest of the story here.

Can RIMM Beat Back Apple? Is Wind Power for Real?

June 28, 2008

In this week’s Digital Dish, BusinessWeek reporters Spencer Ante, Heather Green, Steve Hamm and Catherine Holahan decode RIM’s earnings, discuss the promise of wind power and evaluate Yahoo’s reorganization.

Check out the video here.

Nokia Embraces Openness; Welcome to Openness Wars

June 24, 2008

Today, in yet another sign that open networks are coming to the US wireless world, Nokia announced it will purchase the remaining stock it doesn’t own in Symbian and then migrate the solution to an “Open” platform.

First question: why are they doing this? According to ABI Research vice president Stuart Carlaw: “There has been financial pressure on Nokia to move in this direction at some point. The sheer economics of the number of devices it ships with the OS versus the value it gets out of its historic shareholding clearly indicated that such a `rescue’ was inevitable at some point.”

The second question of course is: How open will the platform be? “Perhaps this is an admission that the pressure from the Linux industry is really forcing Nokia and Symbian to change their game,” adds Carlaw. “Questions remain as to whether the solution will be truly open and what the cost of a Symbian Foundation membership will be.”

ABI research director Kevin Burden believes Nokia may still maintain a proprietary operating system for high-end mobile devices. “It’s very possible that Nokia will eventually position the Symbian platform for mid-tier devices with another platform powering its high-end devices – a position that Sony Ericsson has already taken,” says Burden.

Om Malik has a good post on what it means. My bottom line is that there is clearly going to be a war to dominate the open wireless platform. And it’s probably going to take a few years for all of this to settle out. In the meantime, innovation will flourish but not as much as if the industry had already decided upon a single open platform. Get ready for the next standards war featuring Android by Google, Symbian by the Symbian Foundation, Blackberry by RIMM, OS X by Apple, Windows Mobile by Microsoft and the LiMo by the LiMo Foundation. It’s enough to make your head spin!!!

Can Apple’s iPhone Crack the Corporate Market?

March 6, 2008

Today, Apple’s Steve Jobs is expected to announce a strategy to use its Web-browsing iPhone to move into the corporate market. Shares of Blackberry maker RIMM dropped 4% yesterday on the expectation.

The iPhone is a great consumer product, no doubt. But there’s a lot of reasons to believe that Apple won’t have nearly as much success nearly as soon as it has achieved in the consumer market. My colleague Peter Burrows wrote a smart skeptical analysis of the iPhone prospects and challenges in penetrating Corporate America. The challenges include:

– Apple needs to build up credibility with corporate buyers after years of largely ignoring them.
– Apple may have to change its business model to cater to their needs, and it’ll have to be more open with partners, so independent software developers can create applications for the iPhone that corporations want.
– To take on RIM, experts say Apple will need to develop server technology far more complex than what it has today.
– The iPhone’s keyboard may need a rethink.

Even though I too am skeptical of this venture, I think it is a smart long-term strategy. I just think the financial returns won’t materialize for a while as Apple retools its operations to cater to the far more demanding road warriors and executives in corporations.

On the other hand, I believe RIMM’s moves downstream into the consumer market are already bearing fruit. Over the last few months, I’ve noticed a lot of friends and colleagues buying the new Pearl or Curve smart phones, or expressing an interest in buying one. So this seems like more of a buying opportunity for RIMM.

What do you think?

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