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Updated from 4:29 p.m. EST to provide executive comments regarding third-quarter guidance in the fourth and sixth paragraphs.



) -- Shares of

Research In Motion


soared in late trades Thursday after the BlackBerry maker posted a much narrower than expected quarterly loss as it grew its subscriber base and increased its cash balance.

The Canadian-based company reported an adjusted loss of $142 million, or 27 cents a share, for its fiscal second quarter ended in August on revenue of $2.87 billion. The performance was well ahead of the average estimate of analysts polled by

Thomson Reuters

for a loss of 46 cents a share in quarter on revenue of $2.50 billion.

"Despite the significant changes we are implementing across the organization, our second quarter results demonstrate that RIM is progressing on its financial and operational commitments during this major transition," said Thorsten Heins, the company's president and CEO, in a statement. Heins also noted that RIM now has 80 million global users, and that its cash balance grew approximately $100 million to stand at $2.3 billion.

The company shipped 7.4 million smartphones during the quarter, compared to 7.8 smartphones in the year-ago quarter. Sales of Playbook, RIM's tablet, were 130,000, compared to 300,000 last year.

Heins noted on the conference call that the company's CORE cost-reduction program has already reaped $350 million in savings for RIM, on its way to more than $1 billion. Total headcount fell 2,000 during the second quarter to 14,500 full-time employees.

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"Make no mistake about it, we understand that we have much more work to do, but we are making the organizational changes to drive improvements across the company, our employees are committed and motivated, and BlackBerry 10 is on track to launch in the first calendar quarter of 2013," he added.

Also on the call, Heins said RIM has been meeting with dozens of carriers from 16 countries to show them the new platform, BlackBerry 10. There was no change to the expected ship date for the BlackBerry 10 of first quarter of 2013.

While the company did not give specific financial guidance for its third quarter, CFO Brian Bidulka did say the company expects to report an operating loss in the third quarter of 2013.

The stock rose 2% in Thursday's regular session to close at $7.14, and was last quoted at $8.50, up more than 19%, on extended volume of more than 16 million, according to

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Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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