RIM BlackBerry Surprises Investors

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. might be losing traction with financial analysts of late, but the company surprised investors with the pronouncement that its profit margins would rebound during the current quarter. The news sent RIM’s stock soaring, where at press time it was up more than 21 percent in late afternoon trading on Friday, hovering around $60.

RIM has been criticized for spending too much on R&D and marketing to attract the consumer segment with devices that have failed to effectively take on the iPhone. But Jim Balsillie, RIM’s co-chief executive, said Thursday that lower materials cost, a shift to standardized components and a shift to higher-margin products would improve profitability, offsetting the cost of its mass market efforts. And, he said the vendor plans “a slew” of new, higher-margin devices in the coming year.

He was also bullish on RIM’s consumer prospects. “It’s still a land grab, and there’s lots of turbulence, but we’re navigating it well,” Balsillie noted.

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