Research In Motion Earnings Guidance: We’ve Got Problems

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) today provided an update on its financial guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 ending May 28, 2011 (all figures in U.S. dollars and U.S. GAAP). The stock dumped 11% in after hours trading.

RIM now expects fully diluted earnings per share for Q1 to be in the range of $1.30-$1.37, lower than the range of $1.47-$1.55 previously forecasted by RIM on March 24, 2011. This shortfall is primarily due to shipment volumes of BlackBerry smartphones that are now expected to be at the lower end of the range of 13.5-14.5 million forecasted in March and a shift in the expected mix of devices shipped towards handsets with lower average selling prices. Gross margin for the first quarter is expected to be similar to the 41.5% previously guided. This mix shift is also expected to result in revenue that is slightly below the range of $5.2-5.6 billion guided on March 24. Expected shipments of BlackBerry PlayBook in the quarter continue to be in line with our previous expectations and we have not experienced any significant supply disruptions in Q1 due to the impact of the Japan earthquake.

RIM (NASDAQ:RIMM) expects to achieve full year fully diluted earnings per share of approximately $7.50, which reflects anticipated strong revenue growth in the third and fourth quarters of the fiscal year driven primarily by the launches of new BlackBerry smartphone products and prudent cost management.