BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) is continuing business as usual while its patent battle with NTS reaches an end game. RIM reported strong earnings last night -- key data points and excerpts from the conference call:
● Income: $120.1 million or 61 cents/share (up 33% y/y)
● Revenue: $560.1 million (up 53% y/y) -- 70% of revenue from handsets
● Total devices shipped: 1.12 million (up from 960,000 in previous quarter)
● New subscribers in quarter: 645,000
● Total subscribers: 4.3 million
● Expected new subs in F4Q quarter: 700-750,000 (down from previous guidance of 750-800,000)
In the conference call, Research In Motion CFO Dennis Kavelman commented on the impact of the court battle and RIM's 'workaround' solution to the alleged patent infringement:
there has been an overwhelming amount of media coverage with the NTP matter, which has played up the possibility of an injunction against RIM. The impact has created some uncertainty among customers. The timing of any resolution… is difficult to predict… taking into account these factors, we believe it's prudent to lower the Q4 range of subscriber additions to 700,000 to 750,000. We have not adjusted revenue guidance for Q4…
What I've received from customers is definitely there was some concern and they are very, very comforted by the PTO [U.S. Patent and Trademark Office]’s incredibly strong statements in their office actions last week, and we're getting ready to brief on very, very simple and straightforward work-around… I would say it caused in certain accounts some concern… in a few accounts, they might have had a contingency plan…
the work-around is different at the absolute fundamental aspect without effecting user impact… we do have grade variations of work-around. So our current work-around doesn't have any visible user impact, but, but on the e-mail environment… we layer latently in it other more extensive work-arounds. So you just keep invoking it until you're safe and it's all in a software switch.
(Quotes are from the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.)
In a separate statement on the NTP case, Balsillie yesterday announced, 'I believe RIM has been vindicated.'
RIMM 1-yr chart: