RIM has posted its third quarter fiscal 2013 results and, while still trending downwards, immediate concern for the company’s long-term health has been somewhat assuaged. This is the last quarter without a new handset, though the newly-leaked BlackBerry Z10 could launch close to the end of the company’s fourth quarter.
Revenue was down 5% from the previous quarter to $2.7 billion (all numbers CDN), and down nearly 50% from a year ago, when revenue was a relatively flush $5.2 billion. The company posted a net loss of $114 million, or 22c per share, which was significantly lower than its $235 net loss from last quarter. In other words, the bleeding has slowed but not stopped.
The company plans to invest heavily in marketing in the coming quarter, with high expectations for its BlackBerry 10 launch on January 30th. The first handsets are planned for sometime in February, though specific dates are not yet known.
RIM’s subscriber base now sits at 79 million, down over a million from the previous quarter. Though specific numbers have not been provided, the net loss is likely due to continued purging of the BlackBerry platform in North America, with significant gains in Africa and the Middle East. The company sold 6.9 million smartphones and 255,000 PlayBooks this quarter; that’s 500,000 fewer smartphones and 125,000 more tablets compared to last quarter.
RIM’s cash balance has increased to $2.9 billion this quarter as it continues to iterate on its Cost Optimization and Resource Efficiency (“CORE”) program. Although the company expects another net loss in Q4, CEO Thorsten Heins is bullish on the BlackBerry 10 launch. “More than 150 carriers are currently completing technical acceptance programs for the first BlackBerry 10 products,” he said in a statement.
As in previous quarters, good and bad news in equal measure for RIM. Are you bullish on the company’s future?