Research In Motions Smartphone Shipments Climb 43 Percent

BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion on Thursday said it shipped 52.3 million smartphones in fiscal year 2011.

That represented 43 percent growth over the 37 million smartphones that the Waterloo, Ontario, Canada-based wireless product manufacturer shipped the previous year.

The company also reported higher revenues and profits for the most recent quarter and year.

Revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011 rose 36 percent over the same quarter a year ago to $5.6 billion, and the companys quarterly profit climbed during the same comparable period from $710 million to $934 million, or $1.78 per share diluted.

But RIMs stock took a slight beating in after-hours trading after the company gave guidance for the first fiscal quarter of 2012 that missed Wall Streets expectations.

RIM said it expects revenues in the quarter ending May 28, 2011 to be between $5.2 billion and $5.6 billion with earnings per share in the range of $1.47 to $1.55 per share diluted.  Analysts expected revenues of $5.6 billion and earnings of $1.65 per share, AFP reported.

AFP said the stock fell 10.75 percent in after-hours trading after gaining 3.17 percent during the day to close at $64.09.  Shares of RIM trade on the New York Stock Exchange and have ranged in price over the last 52 weeks from a high of $76.78 (March 29, 2010) to a low of $42.53 (Aug. 31, 2010).

RIM said its guidance range reflects a mix shift in handset towards lower ASP products in the first quarter and an increased level of investment in Research and Development and Sales and Marketing related to our tablet and platform initiatives.” The company added that its guidance range is slightly wider than normal to reflect the risk of potential disruption in RIMs supply chain as a result of the recent earthquake in Japan.”

For the fiscal year ending 2011, RIM reported revenues of $19.9 billion and a profit of $3.4 billion, or $6.34 per share diluted.  Annual revenues were up 33 percent while net income rose 47 percent over fiscal year 2010.

In the most recent quarter, the company derived 81 percent of its revenues from devices, 16 percent from service and 3 percent from software and other items.

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