Look for Strong Q3 Earnings from Research In Motion

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Another set of channel checks – this time from Raymond James – suggests that demand for BlackBerry devices continues to be strong. New devices, promotional pushes and attractive data plans should lead to higher adoption rates and strong seasonal sales, Raymond James analyst Sera Kim told clients in a note.

She is forecasting a quarterly gain of 19% to $1.63-billion for revenues, while earnings per share are expected to come in at $0.62 when Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) reports later this week. She also expects net subscriber additions of 1.7 million, and device shipments of 3.8 million. Her estimates are in-line with company guidance.

RIM’s results for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 are due out on Thursday, December 20, 2007, with a conference call expected at 5 p.m. ET.

As for the company’s fourth quarter guidance, Ms. Kim said while it will likely include strong holiday sales for December, the slowdown in consumer spending that often comes in January and February could have a negative impact. She is forecasting revenue guidance will be $1.7-billion, earnings per share of $0.63, subscriber additions of 1.775 million and device shipments of 3.95 million, which are all lower than before.

Ms. Kim said,

We continue to believe that RIM represents a great long-term growth story driven by new devices, a rising subscriber base, channel expansion, and a robust smartphone market.

She rates RIM shares “market perform” with a $110 price target.

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