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RIM's New Smartphone Overshadowed by Quarterly Loss

Still, with RIM in the throes of its strategic review, investors and analysts are clearly concerned about the lack of progress.

"While there has been much negativity surrounding the name for some time, we had hoped over the past 9 months RIM would move in an expeditious manner and make bold strategic changes, comprised of either a transition to software/services model, an outright sale, or monetizing a portion of its portfolio/patents," wrote Amitabh Passi, an analyst at UBS, in a recent note. "However, meaningful change has been limited with RIM continuing to stake its future on BlackBerry 10."

Passi, who also has a "neutral" rating on RIM, warns that the firm's "niche advantage" in the enterprise smartphone market is eroding quickly. "We believe there is still a case for the sum-of-the-parts to be greater than the current market price, but time is of the essence," he added.

Earlier this year, TheStreet's readers said that the Waterloo, Ontario-based firm should sell itself. Amid chatter that RIM would make rich pickings for Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report), Amazon (AMZN - Get Report), HTC or even Facebook (FB - Get Report), 43% of respondents to TheStreet's poll said the firm should put itself on the block. Some 18% replied that the gadget maker should carve off parts of its business.

Tellingly, just over 15% of readers said RIM CEO Thorsten Heins should execute a turnaround plan, highlighting the lack of confidence in the company. A similar number of respondents said RIM should liquidate itself.

There was even a rumor during the summer that IBM (IBM) was interested in acquiring a RIM division that operates a network of secure servers supporting BlackBerry users, although this was likely way wide of the mark.

As for RIM's second-quarter numbers, Sterne Agee's Wu says the firm's cash position will be crucial. "Arguably the most important metric will be its cash balance, which stood at $2.25 billion in the May quarter," he wrote. "There will likely be an operating loss of nearly $400 million, but the question is whether the company can still preserve or even grow its cash balance by collecting on its accounts receivables and changes in working capital."

RIM shares slipped 1% to $6.93 on Thursday, despite the broader rise in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq gain 1.1%.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.
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