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BlackBerry Maker RIM Blows Past Street Estimates

Research In Motion's revenue and net income more than doubled in the fourth quarter.

Updated from 04/02/08

San Francisco -Shares of BlackBerry maker

Research In Motion


soared as the company's fourth-quarter earnings and revenues blew past Street estimates.

Net income for the quarter jumped 120% to $412.5 million, or 72 cents a share, compared with net income of $187.4 million, or 33 cents a share in the same quarter last year.

Revenue for the quarter rose 102% to $1.88 billion from $930.39 million a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 70 cents a share on revenue of $1.85 billion.

Shares of RIM were up $6.01, or 5.3%, to $121.93 in extended trading.

The revenue breakdown for the quarter was approximately 81% for handhelds, 14% for service, 3% for software and 2% for other revenue.

Approximately 4.4 million BlackBerry subscriber accounts were added in the quarter, up from 3.9 million the previous quarter, and 2.18 million net new accounts were added.

About 14 million devices were shipped during fiscal year in line with its subscriber account base forecast from February.

RIM has been diversifying its customer base, said Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of the company. About 38% of the BlackBerry subscriber account base and more than half of net new subscribers in the last quarter were non-business users.

The diversification strategy should help RIM cut its dependence on businesses and reduce its risk in case the U.S. economy slips into a recession.

In the first quarter RIM expects revenue to range from $2.23 billion to $2.3 billion and earnings to range of to 82 cents to 86 cents a share.

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Analysts expect revenue of $2 billion and EPS of 75 cents in the quarter.

Net subscriber account additions in the first quarter are expected to be approximately 2.2 million.

"This strong growth is particularly impressive and speaks to the strength of our portfolio in that the forecast is not dependent on the introduction of new hardware platforms in the first quarter," Balsillie told analysts on the conference call.

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