BlackBerry Maker RIM Turns Financial Corner With $796.7M Profit

Did the embattled Research In Motion just turn a corner? The BlackBerry maker on Thursday reported an earnings jump of 68 percent, far more than Wall Street expected, in an improvement that could bring back the respect of the mobile industry.

Predictions of RIMs imminent demise have come fast and furious this year as the company has failed to compete with the Apple iPhone and devices based on Googles Android operating system. Even the new BlackBerry Torch hasnt sold as well as anticipated and financial analysts have created a chorus of RIM doomsayers over the past few months.

But RIM one of the worlds largest mobile-device manufacturers could be finding a fresh groove. The Canada-based company earned $796.7 million on $4.62 billion in revenue for the three months ended Aug. 28 thats up from $475.6 million in income and $3.53 billion in sales a year earlier. The company credited share buybacks with boosting its earnings per share by 2 cents but 4.5 million net new subscribers and the shipment of 12.1 million phones helped, too.

“We expect a continuation of this momentum in the third quarter as we extend the rollout of new products including the BlackBerry Torch into additional markets and benefit from heavy promotional activities and increasing customer demand as we head into the holiday buying season,” Jim Balsillie, RIMs co-CEO, said in a prepared statement.

To that point, RIM expects third-quarter revenue to come in between $5.3 billion and $5.5 billion. Wall Street analysts have been forecasting $4.82 billion in sales, so if RIM can beat those numbers again, it well could be on the way back toward smartphone domination. For now, Android is dangerously close to toppling both RIM and Nokia.

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