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RIM Sent Reeling

Updated from June 29

Research In Motion's (RIMM) stock stumbled in after-hours trading Wednesday after the company's second-quarter forecast fell shy of the Street's earnings estimates, and the company offered little news on a long-running patent dispute.

In early Thursday trading, shares of the BlackBerry maker were down $2.85, or 3.8%, to $73.06.

The plunge came despite the fact that the company posted first-quarter earnings that were a penny above analysts' forecast, reported strong growth in revenue and subscribers to its BlackBerry service and offered better-than-expected third-quarter numbers.

In its first quarter ended May 28, RIM earned $132.5 million, or 67 cents a share, helped in part by a tax credit. That result was up from the same period a year earlier, when the company earned $55 million, or 28 cents a share.

Revenue surged 68% year over year to $453.95 million.

Excluding the $26.9 million tax credit, related to a ruling in Canada, and after-tax legal expenses of $4.5 million, RIM would have earned $110.10 million, or 56 cents a share. The legal expenses relate to the recent resumption of its patent dispute with holding company NTP. An announced settlement in that case fell apart earlier this month.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting the company to earn 55 cents a share on $452.15 million in sales for the quarter, ostensibly on this pro forma basis. The company previously predicted that it would earn 51 cents to 56 cents a share on sales ranging from $430 million to $455 million.

RIM had not disclosed how the failure of its recent settlement talks would affect its earnings for the just-completed and coming quarters.

Though the company came in above analyst estimates for the just-completed quarter, it warned analysts to bring down their forecasts for the second quarter. The company now expects to earn 57 cents to 63 cents a share in the current quarter on revenue ranging from $465 million to $490 million.
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