Waterloo, Ontario – Research In Motion Limited (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today provided an update on forecasted net subscriber account additions for the fiscal fourth quarter ending February 28, 2009.
RIM now expects net subscriber account additions for Q4 to be over 20% higher than the 2.9 million net subscriber account additions forecasted by RIM on December 18, 2008. RIM had record levels of net subscriber account additions throughout the month of December and continued to see strong levels following the holiday buying season. The new BlackBerry® products that were launched in the fiscal third quarter continue to be well received in the market and post-holiday subscriber performance in both North America and international markets has exceeded RIM’s earlier expectations. RIM expects net subscriber account additions in Q1 to reflect a more normalized average weekly run-rate as the first quarter will not include the type of holiday surge experienced in Q4.
“RIM achieved a very strong start to the holiday buying season and the momentum carried on stronger than expected during the past seven weeks despite a seasonally slower timeframe and the challenging economic environment,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at RIM. “We are pleased with our leadership and momentum in the market after shipping our 50 millionth BlackBerry smartphone in January and introducing a range of new products that are achieving exceptional early results and helping attract record levels of new customers to the BlackBerry platform.”
In addition, RIM is reaffirming its financial guidance for the fourth quarter and expects revenue for the quarter to be at or near the mid-point of the previously guided range. Gross margin and earnings per share for the quarter are expected to be at the low end of the previously guided ranges. A variety of factors, including product mix, lowered channel inventory levels and an increased ratio of new subscriber sales to upgrade and replacement sales, are contributing to the degree of outperformance in subscriber growth relative to revenue and earnings performance within the quarter.
RIM expects to report actual Q4 net subscriber account additions and actual Q4 financial results, as well as provide guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2010, on April 2, 2009.
The number of net subscriber account additions is a non-financial metric and is intended to highlight the change in RIM’s subscriber base. The number of net subscriber account additions should not be relied upon as an indicator of RIM’s financial performance. The number of net subscriber account additions does not have any standardized meaning prescribed by U.S. GAAP and may not be comparable to similar metrics presented by other companies.