RIM Slashes Forecast Again, Shares Tumble

Research In Motion said on Thursday its quarterly profit dropped and revenue missed its lowered forecast, forcing the BlackBerry maker to slash its outlook and sending its shares sharply lower.

The Canadian company, facing rising competition for its smartphones and under pressure after a botched launch of its PlayBook tablet computer, shipped 13.2 million BlackBerrys in the three months to May 28.

It shipped 500,000 PlayBook tablets in the six weeks after the launch, exceeding the average analyst forecast of 366,000.

But it said the tough conditions that pushed it to warn on profits in April were likely to persist.

``Fiscal 2012 has gotten off to a challenging start. The slowdown we saw in the first quarter is continuing into Q2, and delays in new product introductions into the very late part of August is leading to a lower than expected outlook in the second quarter.'' co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie said in the earnings statement.

RIM said it expects earnings in the current quarter of between 75 cents and $1.05, sharly lower than the already pessimistic average view of $1.40, on revenue between $4.2 billion and $4.8 billion.

It slashed its earnings outlook for the fiscal year to late March to between $4.25 and $6 a share, from $7.50 previously.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company made a net profit of $695 million, or $1.33 a share, on revenue of $4.9 billion. Analysts had expected profit of $1.32 a share on revenue of $5.1 billion.

A year ago RIM earned $1.38 a share on revenue of $4.24 billion.

Shares of RIM -- which reported after the bell -- hit an almost five-year low in the session after the company said a senior executive had taken medical leave.

RIM shares fell more than 15 percent to $29.84 in trade after the closing bell in the United States.