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RIM Says Books a Mess

It will need to restate.

Research in Motion (RIMM) became the latest tech stalwart to say it would delay making timely regulatory filings in order to pursue an earnings restatement tied to stock option missteps.

The Waterloo, Ontario, maker of the BlackBerry handheld email device said Friday that preliminary results of an audit committee probe showed that the company has been erring in its accounting for stock option grants since 1998.

The news comes just two weeks after RIM

wowed Wall Street with preliminary second-quarter earnings data. That announcement sent the shares soaring 19% in a day.

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But on Friday, Research in Motion said it would delay filing second-quarter financial statements, which are due next Tuesday, to let the Audit Committee complete its review and to effect the restatement.

RIM also said it found another bookkeeping error, which it described as a "technical error" that "stems from a difference in the historical application of U.S. GAAP and Canadian GAAP accounting rules."

"The net effect of the variable accounting will be to substantially increase the amount of RIM's previously estimated non-cash charges associated with past option grants and thereby reduce the amount of the Company's previously reported U.S. GAAP earnings over the periods to be restated," RIM said.

Shares fell $2.19 late Friday to $111.65.