RIM Misses Estimates; Key Execs Resign (Update 1)

Updated from 5:21 p.m. EST to provide comments from the conference call, more recent share price.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet -- Research In Motion's ( RIMM) first quarter with Thorsten Heins serving as CEO is in the books, and one thing is obvious: He still has a lot of work to do.

The beleaguered BlackBerry maker posted non-GAAP earnings of 80 cents per share on $4.2 billion in revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for a profit of 81 cents a share on revenue of $4.5 billion from the Waterloo, Ontario-based company.

RIM had previously forecast earnings of 80 to 85 cents a share for the fourth quarter with revenue ranging from $4.6 billion to $4.9 billion.

The stock was last quoted at $13.40, down 2.4%, on volume of more than 7 million, according to Nasdaq.com. Earlier in the session, the shares ran as low as $12.37.

Citing expectations for "continued pressure on revenue and earnings throughout fiscal 2013," Research In Motion also said it plans to stop giving financial guidance.

Heins tried to accentuate the positive in commentary accompanying the numbers but he was also fairly candid about the difficulties the company faces, despite having been CEO for only 10 weeks.

On the conference call, Heins stressed the company needs "substantial change" and said that "no stone will be left unturned." He said RIM is going to re-focus on the enterprise business and that it plans to try to reclaim market share in the "bring your own device (BYOD) to work" market with the launch of BlackBerry 10 later this year

Heinz also stepped away from his predecessors, and said that the hardware business could be shut down, and the company could be up for sale as well. "We will make the best decision for RIM & RIM shareholders."

Regarding the sale of the company, he said it was not the primary focus right now, but it is something that would be considered. "If there's any element that we detect during this strategic review, we would consider it. But it's not the main direction we're pursuing right now," Heinz went on to say.

Meantime, former co-CEO Jim Balsillie resigned from the board of directors. "As I complete my retirement from RIM, I'm grateful for this remarkable experience and for the opportunity to have worked with outstanding professionals who helped turn a Canadian idea into a global success," Balsillie said in the press release. The company's CTO, David Yach and Jim Rowan, COO, Global Operations are leaving the company as well.

Heins took over for co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis earlier this year.

The company shipped over 500,000 PlayBooks and 11.1 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, and said it ended the period with more than 77 million subscribers.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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