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RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis shows off the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.  (Source: CNET.com)
First-quarter earnings results not likely to impress

The uphill battle for BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion continues to steepen. The Canadian company is expected to announce its first quarter results after markets close today, and as RIM predicted back in March, the results will prove to be disappointing. 

Reuters reports that RIM will announce first-quarter earnings of $1.32 a share and revenue of $5.1 billion. That's at the low end of RIM's $1.30-$1.37 per share earnings prediction it issued in April. Current quarter earnings are expected to be $1.36 a share with revenue of $5.4 billion.

RIM promised a better full-year outlook, which hinges largely on the success of its PlayBook tablet. But rumors of a BlackBerry Torch and Storm smartphone updates remain just that — rumors, causing investors to get nervous Reuters reports. 

"We believe RIM has now squandered nearly every opportunity and competitive advantage it enjoyed through ineffective R&D resource management, delayed product launches and misreads of the competitive environment," Morgan Stanley analyst Ehud Gelblum wrote in a note to clients, Reuters reports. 

But smartphone versions of the PlayBook tablet are in the works, according to RIM, and the tablet itself is set to launch worldwide. 

According to a Reuters poll of 21 analysts, RIM is expected to ship 700,000 tablets in the current quarter. If results of first-quarter sales for the PlayBook prove to be greater than 370,000, that will already exceed low expectations. (By comparison, the iPad sold 2 million units in its first two months, and the Android-based Motorola Xoom sold 250,000 units in its first month.)





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