Tech Weekly: RIM's Rocky Results

Story updated with new Nortel patent auction date.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Research In Motion's ( RIM) shares went into a tailspin this week after the handset maker reported less-than-stellar first-quarter results after market close on Thursday.

Investors also balked at RIM's dismal outlook and news of headcount reductions, pushing the company's shares down 21.45% to $27.75 by Friday's close. Questions were also being asked about the effectiveness of the company's co-CEO management structure in the aftermath of the results.

RIM's first-quarter results sent the handset maker's shares into a tailspin this week.

RIM's co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, however, defended their working relationship during a conference call to discuss the results on Thursday.

"I just don't think it's the issue," said Balsillie, noting that the two executives have their respective areas of expertise. "I think there are parts that overlap and we highly coordinate it."

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RIM, which is under pressure from Apple ( AAPL) and devices built around Google's ( GOOG) Android operating system, said that it had shipped 500,000 of its PlayBook tablets during the quarter. Keen to bolster its corporate business, the Canadian firm also said that the tablet is in the hands of some 1,500 enterprise customers.


IBM ( IBM) was also in the news on Thursday, but for a very different reason, as the tech bellwether marked its centennial.

The company's CEO Sam Palmisano celebrated the event by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and IBM also released a book titled Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company.

Founded by Thomas J. Watson Sr. in 1911, IBM is now one of the world's best-known tech brands, bringing in revenue of $100 billion a year.

IBM's shares ended the week up 1.09% at $164.44.


The tech sector's run of IPOs continued this week, with online music specialist Pandora Media ( P) making its debut as a public company on Wednesday.

Pandora's shares surged more than 63% in their market debut, as strong investor interest in the social media sector continued. But while the stock hit $26 at one point during morning trading -- which valued the company at more than $4 billion -- shares later fell to close at $17.42, and also sold off sharply on Thursday.

Pandora's stock added 1.1% on Friday to finish the week at $13.40.

Nokia ( NOK) said Tuesday that it has settled a patent dispute with Apple over the use of smartphone technology. Apple will make a one-time payment to the Finnish handset maker and pay royalties going forward.

The decision is a boon for Nokia, whose next big smartphone play likely won't hit until next year, when it launches the first phones based on Microsoft's ( MSFT)Windows Phone 7 platform.

Nokia shares closed up 1.35% at $6.02 on Friday while Apple's stock was down 1.51% at $320.26.


The tense relationship between HP ( HPQ) and Oracle ( ORCL) became even more fractured on Wednesday when HP filed a lawsuit against the software maker.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based PC and printer maker alleged breach of contract following Oracle's decision to discontinue support for Intel's ( INTC) Itanium chip, which is used within HP's Integrity servers. Oracle countered by describing HP's lawsuit as "utterly malicious and meritless."

HP also reshuffled its management this week as the tech giant attempts to boost its presence in the Chinese and Indian markets.

HP's shares ended the week up 0.09% at $35. Oracle's stock was up 1.25% at $31.18.


The coming week is set to be busy one. Earnings season rumbles on with Adobe ( ADBE) set to report its second-quarter results on Tuesday, while Red Hat ( RHT) puts out its first-quarter numbers on Wednesday. Oracle reports its fourth-quarter results on Thursday.

The bidding on Nortel's patents was originally scheduled to begin on Monday, but has been pushed back to June 27. In a statement, Nortel said that this was for "reasons relating to the significant level of interest in its approximately 6,000 patents."

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers.

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