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BlackBerry Soars Despite Tough Economy


Research in Motion disappoints naysayers.


Research in Motion (RIMM) hasn't been fazed by the economic slowdown or credit crunch.

The maker of the wildly popular BlackBerry mobile device reported strong earnings in the fourth quarter of last year and guided first quarter profit estimates above analyst expectations. According to Bloomberg:

  • Net income rose to $412.5 million or $0.72 per share from $187.4 million or $0.33 per share last year.

  • Sales doubled to $1.88 billion.

  • First quarter sales will double to around $2.3 billion, higher than estimates of $2 billion.

  • First quarter profit estimates were upped to $0.86 per share compared to estimates of $0.75 per share.

Much has been made of the company's expansion into China, but the bulk of its revenue growth and customers are still concentrated in North America.

By widening its product offering, the company has extended its reach beyond the business user. The Pearl and Curve, which both sell for less than $100, support MP3 and other popular formats for playing music. BlackBerry accounted for 41% of all U.S. sales of email-capable phones in the fourth quarter.

Competition is still stiff, however, as Mircosoft (MSFT), Motorola (MOT) and Palm (PALM) try to mimic BlackBerry's success. Even Apple (AAPL) is adding features to its iPhone to make it more appealing to business users.

Pessimists keep waiting for Research in Motion to stumble. Despite difficult economic conditions, the company continues to push ahead and expand its user base. It carries very little debt and its success proves that, although macroeconomic growth may be slowing, businesses can still thrive with the right strategy.

The company's ability to place affordable, easy-to-use devices in the hands of consumers will allow it to continue to capitalize on wireless communications as a long-term global trend. Recession or not, the world's still going wireless.

This morning, in his interview with Tech-Ticker, Toddo offered some thoughts on the tech giants bullish report.

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