December 20, 2012 / 9:29 PM / 5 years ago

RIM posts smaller than expected loss; subscriber base slips

Dec 20 (Reuters) - Research In Motion reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday, but recorded the first-ever drop in its subscriber base barely a month before the crucial launch of the new BB10 smartphone line.

Excluding one-time items related to restructuring and other issues, the struggling BlackBerry maker reported a loss of $114 million or 22 cents a share.

Analysts, on average, had forecast a loss of 35 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM, which hopes to reinvent itself and revive its fortunes with the launch of the Blackberry 10 line next month, reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $9 million, or 2 cents a share. That compared with a year-ago profit of $265 million, or 51 cents.

The company said its subscriber base in the quarter fell to about 79 million from about 80 million in the period ended Sept. 1.

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