RIM reports a season of good cheer

Research in Motion's Q3 2009 report confirmed that the company met its revised projection from earlier in the month, and indicated that perhaps things aren't so bad in the "land-grab" wireless-handset market.

Last December 2, Palm predicted it would see revenues of $2.75 billion to $2.78 billion; the final number was $2.78 billion, a year-to-year increase of 66 percent (from $1.67 billion). The company's stock returned 69 cents / share, up four cents over the same period last year.

That's not bad, and neither's the future -- not glowing, but certainly verging on rosy. For Q4, which includes the current holiday season, sales of the BlackBerry Storm are giving the company cause to predict revenues of $3.3 billion to $3.5 billion and earnings of between 83 and 91 cents.

RIM's having its "best-ever start to the holiday buying season over the past few weeks," according to Co-CEO Jim Balsillie. The companies lowered prices on various handsets to facilitate that, and the results have been pleasing, with a total of 6.7 million units shipping.

Hardware sales account for the lion's share (81%) of RIM revenues, but there's good news from other divisions as well. On the earnings call, Balsillie spoke with particular enthusiasm about the company's efforts to bring social networking to the BlackBerry, and said that downloads of both the MySpace and the Facebook applications are proving extremely popular.

RIMM fluttered a bit on the NASDAQ today, closing down $2.23 (5.48%) at 38.44. The call was held after the exchange closed, and after-hours trading was up slightly -- at press time, to $38.76.

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