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RIM guides low on tablet R&D spend, quake impact

Alex Scroxton

In spite of posting annual growth in sales and profits of 33% and 39% respectively, Research in Motion (RIM) has taken a pounding on the stock market after guiding low on the numbers for the coming period.

RIM said that sales for the first quarter of its fiscal 2012 would be flat and EPS down substantially, reflecting a mix shift towards lower ASP products and an increased level of investment in R&D and sales activity relating to its upcoming Playbook tablet.

The firm added that its guidance range was slightly wider than normal to "reflect the risk of potential disruption in RIM's supply chain as a result of the recent earthquake in Japan".

The maker of the Blackberry smartphone yesterday evening unveiled its year-end figures with net profit hitting $3.4bn (£2.1bn) on full-year sales on $19.9bn (£12.4bn).

Quarterly sales for the three months ended 26 February were $5.5bn and net profit was $934m, both up on the year-ago figures.

The firm said it shipped 14.9 million Blackberries during Q4 and 52.3 million smartphones in 2011.

"We [are] in an excellent position to benefit from the continuing convergence of the mobile communications and mobile computing markets. We are laying a strong foundation for RIM's expanding market opportunity through focused investments and we are extremely excited about our smartphone, tablet and platform roadmaps," said co-CEO Jim Balsillie.

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