RIM shares plummet as investors worry about the future

The BlackBerry maker's shares drop 19 percent on the day following news of a disappointing fiscal first quarter that saw the company lose $518 million.

BlackBerry PlayBook
RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook. RIM

The bad news just keeps coming for Research In Motion.

In early trading today, the company's shares have shaved off 17 percent to land at $7.55. The trading is the first chance for investors to offer up their opinion on the company's bleak fiscal first-quarter earnings that made many wonder if the end is near.

RIM's shares ended the day down 19 percent to $7.39.

During its fiscal first quarter, RIM lost a whopping $518 million , a catastrophic decline compared to the $695 million profit it posted during the same period last year. Quarterly sales were down 33 percent year over year to land at $2.8 billion. BlackBerry smartphone shipments hit 7.8 million units, down 41 percent compared with the prior year. All of that is forcing RIM to cut 5,000 jobs by the end of the fiscal year.

To make matters worse, BlackBerry 10, which CEO Thorsten Heins calls his No. 1 priority, has been delayed to the first quarter of 2013, due to issues integrating planned features into the platform.

"I will not deliver a product to the market that is not ready to meet the needs of our customers, or provide anything less than an outstanding user experience with the quality I expect a BlackBerry product to have," he said. "There will be no compromise on this issue."

RIM's earnings were strategically announced after the market close yesterday. The move is used by companies -- both successful and not -- to give shareholders time to cool off and determine their next move. In some cases, like Apple, investors jump at the chance to buy shares the next morning. In others, they run. RIM happens to fall in the latter group.

Updated at 7:25 a.m. PT to include share price after the morning bell.


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