RIM Plunges; Microsoft Beats

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Research In Motion ( RIMM) shares plummeted 13.4% to $49 in pre-market trading Friday after slashing its first-quarter profit outlook because of weak Blackberry shipments and an unfavorable product mix.

The Ontario-based company said it now sees earnings of $1.30 to $1.37 a share for three months ending in May, down from a prior projection for earnings of $1.47 to $1.55 a share.

Microsoft ( MSFT) shares dipped 1% in pre-market trading Friday despite solidly beating third-quarter earnings estimates thanks to Kinect sales and the continuing rally in corporate IT business.

Microsoft reported adjusted earnings per share of 61 cents on quarterly revenues of $16.43 billion. That's up from 45 cents and sales of $14.5 billion in the year-ago quarter; analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected 56 cents EPS on sales of $16.2 billion.

PayPal, the online payments unit of eBay ( EBAY), has acquired a mobile payments start-up that lets customers pay for goods with smartphones, the company announced Friday on its blog. Called FigCard, the Boston based start-up lets merchants accept mobile payments through a USB device that connects to the cash register.

Shares of eBay fell 0.9% in pre-market trading Friday to $33.68.

Panasonic ( PC) said Thursday it plans to cut 17,000 jobs over the next two years as it reorganizes the company following its acquisition of Sanyo Electric Co. Panasonic will reduce its workforce by around 4.6% to 350,000 by March 13, it said in a statement.

Vancouver-based start-up 99Designs has raised $35 million in venture funding led by Accel Partners, the company said Thursday. 99Designs is an online marketplace for graphic designs.

--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.

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