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RIM's Co-CEOs Congratulate Each Other for Disastrous Performance

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Someone remind Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis that they run Research in Motion and not Apple.

During yesterday's earnings call, the company gave a dismal forecast for the year ahead. Despite a slight gain in revenue from the same quarter last year and a commendable jump in international revenue, there wasn't much good news to report.

Net income is down about 10% from the same quarter last year -- $695 million versus $769 million. And with a product lineup choked by delays, RIM slashed its earnings forecast for the fiscal year. It now expects earnings per share to be within the $5.25 to $6 range, after originally announcing a lofty full-year EPS of $7.50.

The company acknowledged the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet launch didn't go as smoothly as it had hoped, even though it shipped -- not sold -- 500,000 units. And its newest devices will likely miss the back-to-school push by many carriers -- right about when Apple and Google steal the spotlight with the debut of the iPhone 5/4S and a fleet of solid Android devices. Even Windows Phones will be entering a second generation by then.

And yes, there will be layoffs. Or as RIM puts it, a "realignment" within a "cost optimization program."

But both Balsillie and Lazaridis couldn't help but pat each other on the back for the job they've done -- specifically defending their co-CEO positions.

"Mike and I have been partners in this business for almost 20 years, and during that time RIM has grown to $20 billion in annual revenue," Balsillie said. "We are currently approaching the tail end of a significant transition in our business, that, frankly, few companies would have survived. But we have. And I believe, and I think Mike would agree, that neither of us could have taken RIM this far alone."

"I agree with Jim's comments," Lazaridis replied. "Our co-CEO arrangement is what led to RIM's success over the past two decades."

They even addressed outsiders' concerns for the company's performance and claimed they're not seeing the big picture. "RIM has taken a unique path and the reason why we do things might not always be obvious from the outside," Lazaridis said.

But delusion hit a high note when Lazaridis rattled off a series of self-congratulatory sentiments that stand in stark contrast with the year ahead. "This is fun! We're changing the world! We're transforming the way people work! We birthed a tablet in a year! We transitioned to a new operating system!"

Good God, man.

Two months ago, Lazaridis asked -- in the face of a plummeting market share, a loss of developers, disastrous product launches, and a grimmer forecast -- "Why is it that people don't appreciate our profits?"

You may get that answer, Mike, at the next shareholders meeting in July.

(See also: Research in Motion CEO Admits to Being Clueless and Things Aren't Looking Good for Research in Motion)

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