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Research In Motion Slammed After Mixed Report

Updated from 9:25 a.m. EDT

Shares of Research In Motion (RIMM) were throttled after the BlackBerry maker missed sales expectations and issued disappointing revenue guidance.

The selloff came despite the fact that the company beat the Street's pro forma earnings expectations and posted a 92% jump in sales.

On Wednesday morning, RIM's stock was off $2.08, or 2.8%, to $72.32.

In its fiscal fourth quarter, the wireless email service and device provider lost $2.6 million, or a penny a share, compared with a profit of $41.5 million, or 23 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The company's sales came in at $404.8 million, up from $210.6 million in the fourth quarter a year ago.

RIM's bottom line in the just-completed quarter was affected by two big factors: a $294.2 million charge related to a patent settlement and a tax-asset gain of $151.6 million.

Excluding those two factors, RIM would have earned $140.1 million, or 71 cents a share, in the quarter. However, that pro forma result excludes any tax charges because of the tax gain the company recorded. Had the company recorded its normal tax provision, its earnings would have been lowered by $7 million, or about 4 cents a share.

According to Thomson First Call, the consensus view from analysts -- which seemingly included the tax provision but not the litigation charge or the tax benefit -- was for earnings of 65 cents a share in the quarter on $410 million in sales. RIM had predicted that it would earn 60 cents to 67 cents a share excluding the litigation expense on revenue ranging from $390 million to $410 million.

In its fiscal first quarter, RIM reiterated its sales forecast but brought down the top end of its earnings outlook by a penny, citing a higher tax rate. The company now expects to earn 51 cents to 56 cents a share on a GAAP basis in the quarter on sales ranging from $430 million to $455 million. The company predicted it would earn between 57 cents and 63 cents a share in its fiscal second quarter, on sales ranging from $460 million to $485 million.

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