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Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY) Surprises In 4Q Earnings

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Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) released its fiscal fourth quarter earnings before the markets opened this morning, and investors were pleasantly surprised. Shares jumped more than 5 percent initially at the NASDAQ but then settled down to a 2 percent increase from the market’s opening price. The true indication of whether the company is turning things around won’t come until its May report, and investors are certainly aware of that.

Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY) Surprises In 4Q Earnings

The Canadian handset maker reported $98 million in profits and 19 cents per share. In the same quarter last year, the company reported losses of $125 million or 24 cents per share. Revenue fell to $2.68 billion from $4.18 billion in the same quarter a year ago, and it was less than the expectation of analysts, which was $2.85 billion.

Another bright point in the BlackBerry maker’s earnings report was the fact that it sold 1 million BlackBerry Z10 handsets during the quarter. Investors should note that those sales came from just a handful of markets where the device launched early. In all, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) reported 6 million smartphones and 370,000 PlayBook tablets sold. The number of tablets sold indicates a 45 percent increase quarter over quarter, although sales were likely helped by deep discounts during the quarter.

Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) reported 76 million BlackBerry subscribers, which was down 3 million quarter over quarter. This was likely due to a combination of BlackBerry 7 attrition and subscribers waiting until the BlackBerry 10 devices launch in their area.

Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) reported $964 million in service revenue, which was not the dramatic decrease analysts were expecting. Instead, it was simply a modest fall. Also the BlackBerry maker’s adjusted gross margin was reported as 40.3 percent, a significant increase of 870 basis points quarter over quarter.

Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) guided for a breakeven fiscal first quarter, including the substantial 50 percent marketing expense increase quarter over quarter, which accounted for all the major events and premium ads the company is paying for this quarter.

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