Print 74 comment(s) - last by Cheesew1z69.. on Dec 19 at 3:18 PM

Massive delay does not sit well amid falling earnings

Waterloo, Ontario-based Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) tried to put on its most cheerful face reporting its fiscal Quarter 3 2012 earnings (calendar quarter 4 2011).  The numbers weren't great, but they weren't worse than expected either, living up to analysts' somewhat grim predictions.

I. RIM Can't Find an LTE Chipset to Save Its Life

The biggest story was not the earnings itself, but the earnings call in which RIM announced its BlackBerry 10 OS would be delayed half a year.  Wrote Canadian brokerage firm National Bank Financial, "RIM confirmed the BlackBerry 10 smartphones will be delayed until the latter part of calendar 2012. This could be game over for the BlackBerry franchise."

Nomura analyst Stuart Jeffrey in a research note to investors concurred that this could be the end for RIM or at least was a huge hit.  He writes, "We see a high risk that this is too late to turn around RIM's position and believe the risk of further delays is meaningful.  Even in the best case, however, it seems unlikely RIM will have large volumes of its BB10 devices on sale within 15 months."

BBX -- or should we say "BlackBerry 10" -- has been delayed half a year. [Source: RIM]

RIM's co-CEOs, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, defend the decision to push the future of the company, well... into the future.  They said that RIM would "bounce back" from "some of the most difficult times in the history of this company".

In the conference call Mr. Lazaridis blamed the delay partially on RIM's inability to find an LTE capable chipset, a somewhat astounding excuse given the volume of LTE chipsets.  He states:

As I said on the last earnings call, we are focused on delivering a high quality, fully featured user experience when these products are launched. This means having a well-developed ecosystem of publications and services both in the hardware specifications, industrial design, and application features that will meet the expectations of consumers in the competitive US market. To achieve this goal, we need a highly integrated dual core LTE platform. The processor we selected offers industry-leading power and efficiency, and also allows us to deliver the industrial design that we believe is critical to the success in this market segment. This chipset will not be available until mid-2012, and as a result of this and certain other factors, we now expect our first BlackBerry 10 smartphones to reach markets in the latter part of calendar 2012.

For their failure the pair of co-CEOs have agreed to take pay cuts down to a $1 USD/year salary, effectively immediately.

II. "I find your lack of confidence disturbing" 

Investors' patience with the pair is waning.  Several high profile investors have put together plans advising the company to revamp its bizarre management structure.  They also suggests exploring the option of a sale.
RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie
RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie may be all laughs and grins, but his company's increasingly abysmal U.S. sales outlook has given investors little to crack a smile about. [Image Source: Reuters]

To recap the latest developments: It's hard not to be skeptical of RIM's future given its increasing abysmal string of misfires and embarassments in the last three months.

All this seems very ironic given Mike Lazardis's 2009 quote to Fortune -- "Sometimes we have to put the brakes on.  We've shown that we can handle annual 100% growth. I'm not sure we could handle more than that."

It's certainly done a remarkable job putting the brakes on its growth, that can be said for it.

III. The Financials

Now back to the financials themselves.

For the revenue RIM cheerfully highlights, "Revenue of $5.2 billion, up 24% from last quarter."

That $5.223B USD (GAAP adjusted) is a far cry from RIM's original outlook of $5.3B-$5.6B, which it was forced to adjust downwards just weeks ago, in an effort to soften the blow.  It's also down 4.95% from the company's reported revenue $5.495B USD in fiscal Q3 2011, a year ago.

Why compare to fiscal Q2 2012 only, when Q3 revenue has always been higher than Q2 revenue for RIM?  Such quarter-to-quarter comparison are not unusual, but companies typically put both the quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year numbers in the highlight, if they differer substantially.  

RIM reports a "GAAP net income of $265 million or $0.51 per share diluted; adjusted net income of $667 million or $1.27 per share diluted."

This is down from a net revenue of $877M USD ($1.67 USD/share) in Q3 2011, a plunge in profits of 22.7 percent.

About the only hopeful numbers for RIM come in its subscribe counts, which rose 35 percent on a year to year basis, hitting "almost 75 million", with 14.1 million BlackBerry smartphones sold in Q3 2012.  But that optimism is tempered by the fact that the global smartphone market is growing is predicted to have grown 55-57 percent in 2011. 

In other words, the comprehensive picture from the earnings report is that RIM may be growing its subscribers, but it's falling behind its competitors in growth and is seeing its profitability plunge.

BlackBerries in the trash
[Image Source: LihPao]

Perhaps most telling is the fact that RIM has only $1.5B USD in cash on hand.  That means that just one or two quarters in the red could sink the veteran firm.  For that reason, it's hard not to agree with the analysts at the NBF -- this could be "game over" for RIM.

Sources: RIM, Barrons, Reuters

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RE: LTE chipsets
By retrospooty on 12/16/2011 5:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
"not mentioned in the article, but Apple still doesn't have an LTE equipped phone, either"

True, but Apple has a phone that people want. RIM is already several years late to the decent mobile OS party and now they are blaming the next delay on a chip LOL. IOS released in June 2007. Even slowpoke Palm came out with a competing offer 2 years later, and they are totally disfunctional. Its now been almost 5 years and RIM still has no Phone OS to match.

Beyond that, what is taking them so long with QNX. It WAS released on the playbook earlier this year in at least decent form. Its not getting great reviews, but it is a good OS with alot of promise. What is taking 1 1/2 years from Playbooks working QNX release to get it on a freegin phone and why does the lack of a 4G chip delay releasing for 6 months? There are 3G options out there.

Bah, its all spin and excuses for total lack of management.

RE: LTE chipsets
By Pirks on 12/18/2011 1:12:23 PM , Rating: 3
If you weren't an anti-RIM troll with agenda you'd also realize that 1) MS is way more behind RIM in tablets, they don't even have a SINGLE one decent ARM tablet with Windows or WP7 and 2) it took 5 years for Apple to come up with their iPad franchise as well, it wasn't created overnight like you think.

So what we have here: RIM is ahead of MS in tablets, RIM's tablet rivals iPads in quality while the rest is cheapo Android junk, barely usable and ugly, and does not sell AT ALL, but still a few trolls like you or JM pretend that RIM is doomed and MS is not. So, the business as usual eh :)))

RE: LTE chipsets
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/18/2011 2:54:53 PM , Rating: 2

RIM finally eked out a decent quarter. Beat analyst estimates, even. That is, if you don't count the $485 million bath the company took on unsold tablets . The PlayBook — ill conceived, poorly executed — is RIM's worst product . And it might just take down the whole company.

RE: LTE chipsets
By Pirks on 12/18/11, Rating: 0
RE: LTE chipsets
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/19/11, Rating: 0
RE: LTE chipsets
By retrospooty on 12/19/2011 9:41:01 AM , Rating: 2
He gets ruders and dumber by the day. Not only does he not see reality anymore, he doesnt even bother to read the posts he responds to or put things in context anymore. WTF? Pirks used to at least put up SOME valid points, now its like debating with a toddler... Its just pathetic.

RE: LTE chipsets
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/19/2011 10:06:09 AM , Rating: 1
Yep, it's sad to see such a decline in people, maybe he has dementia.

RE: LTE chipsets
By Pirks on 12/19/2011 11:06:46 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, cheesy has dementia definitely, otherwise he'd see "By Brian Barrett Gizmodo " at the top of his article. He's getting dumber by the day, you're right retro :)

RE: LTE chipsets
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/19/2011 11:23:03 AM , Rating: 1
Hey jerk off, I don't READ Gizmodo site, so if it's Gizmodo or not, I don't pay attention. Obviously the link I posted came from MSNBC, not Gizmodo.

RE: LTE chipsets
By Pirks on 12/19/11, Rating: -1
RE: LTE chipsets
By retrospooty on 12/19/2011 9:37:57 AM , Rating: 3
You are responding to outer space here. What are you talking about Read the comment again, its about LTE chipsets and RIM's excuses for not releasing QNX on phones for another year.

#1 - This isnt about tablets, we are talking phones.
#2 - This isnt about MS we are talking RIM.
#3 - If you want to bring in MS, they DO have a little Operating System business and a small product called XBOX that sell for multiple billions in Revenue. RIM has phones and that's about it (you may not want to add playbook considering all the money they lost on it.)

RE: LTE chipsets
By Pirks on 12/19/2011 11:28:01 AM , Rating: 2
its about LTE chipsets and RIM's excuses
It's more about you trolling only RIM, not the other companies who do exactly the same. Why don't you troll Apple or MS because they also don't have LTE phones? Why do you only troll RIM and not the other similarly lagging companies?

RE: LTE chipsets
By retrospooty on 12/19/2011 11:40:06 AM , Rating: 2
Again, nitwit, you miss the subject matter completely. Read the article title again REALLY SLOWLY.

RIM is saying they wont release QNX on phones in 6 months because there is no decent LTE chipset. THAT is the subject.

Why not release it 3G?
Why not use one of the many 28nm chips coming out in Q1 like Apple says its waiting for
Why is it a 6 month delay on something that is already 6 months out? Other companies release all there stuff on 4G, or do like Apple and stick with 3G.

Why? Becasue its a BS excuse for mismanagement. Thats why. - done.

RE: LTE chipsets
By Pirks on 12/19/2011 12:01:13 PM , Rating: 2
Why not release it 3G?
Why release it in 3G and spend precious resources to get the older boring phone out that not many US customers would be interested in? RIM needs cool attractive and FASHIONABLE stuff, LTE is all the buzzword these days, so RIM is betting on the newest coolest tech in order to drive sales in the future. Hence they'll polish the new OS and write additional software and apps for it while waiting for the new fashionable chips to arrive. The result will be much better phone that doesn't drain battery like the current Android LTE junk does. You're just too dumb to understand this, or you have an agenda. Or both :)))

RE: LTE chipsets
By retrospooty on 12/19/2011 12:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
OK, I give. You are right. RIM taking another year to release QNX on a phone and waiting for a decent 4G chip is a good idea. Go RIM!

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