RIM sells a million new BlackBerry 10 phones in 4Q


09:18 PM March 28th, 2013

March 28th, 2013 09:18 PM

The BlackBerry Z10 smartphone is displayed in New York in January this year. Apple’s iPhone is outdated, according to Research In Motion Ltd. chief executive Thorsten Heins. Heins made the comment Thursday, March 21, 2013, on the eve of the much-delayed launch of the new touchscreen BlackBerry in the United States. AT&T begins selling the Z10 on Friday, more than six weeks after RIM launched the devices elsewhere. (AP File Photo

TORONTO— Research In Motion Ltd. said Thursday that it sold about 1 million of its critically important new BlackBerry 10 devices and returned to profitability in the most recent quarter.

The earnings provide a first glimpse of how RIM’s new touch-screen Z10 is selling internationally and in Canada since its debut Jan. 31. Details on the U.S. launch are not part of the fiscal fourth quarter’s financial results because the Z10 just went on sale in the U.S. last week.

In the quarter that ended March 2, RIM earned $98 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a loss of $125 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 36 percent to $2.7 billion, from $4.2 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected $2.82 billion.

“I thought they were dead. This is a huge turnaround,” Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said from New York.

Misek said the Canadian company “demolished” the numbers, especially its gross margins. RIM reported gross margins of 40 percent, up from 34 percent a year earlier. The company credited higher average selling prices and higher margins for devices.

“This is a really, really good result,” Misek said. “It’s off to a good start.”

Chief executive Thorsten Heins said he implemented numerous changes at the company over the past year and those changes have resulted in RIM returning to profitability.

The company also announced that co-founder Mike Lazaridis will retire as vice chairman and director.

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