RIMM’s Quest to Remain Competitive

Research in Motion (RIMM) has been feeling pressure as of late from competitors such as Apple (AAPL), Palm (PALM) and Nokia (NOK) as they are crowding into the smart phone market.   Today’s earnings show that Research in Motion is still strong and remains at least a decent competitor.   Earnings per share were expected at $0.94 per share vs. the actual of $1.12 and adjusted at $0.98 and revenues of 3.42 billion vs. the expectation of 3.41 billion.   However, the real question will be how successful will Palm’s Pre and Apple’s new iPhone 3GS be.

In aftermarket trade, Research in Motion moved down fairly substantially to the mid $72 level.   Reasons for this may include an expectation of much better results than reported or maybe investors are finally realizing that the move from $35 per share on March 9 to the $86 handle just a few days ago was a little much.   Sometimes beating expectations just isn’t enough when formidable competitors are stocked with heavy ammunition.

Apple is currently predicting sales of 500,000 to 750,000 iPhones in the first week of sales.   This shows great strength in Apple’s ability to continue to innovate and break into the business market.   Cell phone applications from Apple have also continued to grow seemingly exponential which may steal some extra revenue.   This also creates a large barrier of entry for any new smart phone maker that would like to be as innovative and flexible as the iPhone.   Research in Motion and Palm will have to attract developer’s to create applications or internally create them on their own.

We see the cell phone market becoming increasingly competitive and we will continue to look for one of the smart phone companies other than Nokia to establish dominance in China and other emerging nations.