* Fiscal Q2 EPS $1.46, Wall Street consensus $1.35/shr
* Fiscal Q2 rev $4.62 billion; 12.1 million units shipped
* RIM sees Q3 EPS at $1.62-$1.70; revenue $5.3-$5.55 bln
* Shares jumped 6.5 percent in after-hours trade
(all figures in U.S. dollars unless noted; adds details, byline)
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - BlackBerry maker Research In Motion RIM.TO RIMM.O reported stronger-than-expected profit and handset shipments on Thursday, sending its stock surging as it defied expectations that it would lose more ground to Apple (AAPL.O) and other rivals.
The company earned $796.7 million, or $1.46 a share, on $4.62 billion revenue in the three months ended Aug. 28, up from $475.6 million, or 83 cents, in the same period last year. It said around $1.5 billion worth of stock repurchases in the quarter added about 2 cents to its earnings per share.
“This is a nice surprise on the upside. Revenue was better, EPS was better, units were better both for the current quarter, as well as the November quarter guidance,” said Matthew Thornton from Avian Securities in Boston.
Analysts had on average forecast earnings of $1.35 per share on revenue of $4.47 billion, according to Reuters data.
RIM, whose smartphones compete with those from the likes of Apple and Motorola MOT.N, said it shipped 12.1 million units, at the high end of its own guidance.
Analysts had expected 11.8 million units and had worried about growing challenges from Apple’s iPhone and and handsets using on Google’s (GOOG.O) Andriod technology
One of the only metrics to fall short of expectations was net subscriber additions for the quarter, which came in at 4.5 million compared to a forecast of around 5 million.
”That was really the only weak spot here, but that is more than compensated from just really strong results across the board and really strong guidance for next quarter, said Dushan Batrovic from Dundee Securities.
RIM’s gross margin was 44.5 percent, versus expectations of 43.9 percent.
RIM said it expects to add between 5 million and 5.4 million subscribers in the current quarter, which ends on Nov. 27. Analysts had expected 5.2 million net subscriber additions this quarter.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company’s shares jumped more than 6 percent in after-hours trade in the United States. It had been up more than 2 percent before the results, largely as a result of short-sellers covering their positions.
Analysts had been worried about a tepid reception for RIM’s newest smartphone, the BlackBerry Torch, which went on sale in the United States on Aug. 12 and which combines an iPhone style touchscreen with a slide-out keyboard like traditional BlackBerrys.
Daniel Ernst, of Hudson Square Research said the market had over-reacted to the lackluster reception for the Torch.
“Torch launched late in the quarter, in one country with one carrier,” he said. “Even if had done fantastic it wouldn’t have changed the numbers that much,”