December 20, 2007 / 9:14 PM / in 10 years

RIM shares soar on results

TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd RIM.TORIMM.O reported a profit that beat third-quarter expectations on Thursday, sending its shares higher, but the company delivered a subscriber outlook that fell short of analyst predictions.

RIM earned $370.5 million, or 65 cents a share, in the three months ended December 1, more than double the profit of $175.2 million, or 31 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

The result beat analyst expectations and the company’s outlook from October, sending its share price up 9.7 percent to $117.40 in after-hours electronic trade. The shares closed at $106.99 on the Nasdaq.

The company said it added about 1.65 million BlackBerry accounts in the quarter -- in line with its earlier outlook -- which brought it to a total of about 12 million. It also shipped more than 3.9 million devices.

For the upcoming fourth quarter, RIM expects to add about 1.82 million subscribers, short of the 1.88 million that analysts were expecting.

Revenue should be between $1.8 and $1.87 billion, RIM said, with earnings between 66 and 70 cents per share -- better than analyst forecasts, according to Reuters Estimates.

“I think overall, the market is going to look at it and say they are pleased, at best, on the subscriber addition side of it. But I think it’s the bottom line that the people are going to focus on,” Research Capital analyst Nick Agostino said shortly after the results were released.

The third quarter’s revenue was $1.67 billion, compared to $835.1 million a year earlier.

“We are pleased to see continuing growth amongst business and government users, with the BlackBerry platform being deployed for a widening range of applications,” RIM co-chief executive Jim Balsillie said in a statement.

“We are also pleased with the excellent consumer sales results achieved so far in the holiday buying season.”

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, the company’s shares finished C$4.43 higher at C$106.52.

($1=$1 Canadian)

Editing by Janet Guttsman

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