Explaining Southern California's economy

Qualcomm beats Wall Street earnings expectations

2012 Consumer Electronics Show Showcases Latest Technology Innovations

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CEO Paul E. Jacobs of Qualcomm delivers a keynote address at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show. The San Diego company pleased Wall Street with its most recent earnings.

Qualcomm beat what the Street had anticipated, while bringing more than $6 billion in revenue in its first fiscal quarter. 

That was a nearly 30 percent increase over the same quarter a year ago. And of that, profit was $2.2 billion, which worked out to $1.26 per share, a figure that delighted analysts who had expected less.

The good numbers pushed the company’s stock immediately higher in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq exchange. 

This contrasts with Canada’s Research in Motion, whose new BlackBerry smartphones are powered by Qualcomm processors. RIM changed its name to “BlackBerry,” but the new edition devices haven’t (yet) reversed its fortunes. Its stock dipped as Qualcomm’s rose.

Qualcomm told investors to expect continued good results in 2013 — in the lexicon of finance, it upgraded its "guidance" — as the company rolls out new chips and benefits from more consumers upgrading to smartphones, especially in developing world markets like China.

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BlackBerry Friday? Research in Motion is surging in post-Thanksgiving trading

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Don't write this company off just yet. As BlackBerry maker Research in Motion nears the release of BlackBerry 10 and new phones, the stock is getting some respect.

It would difficult to find a better example of near-total meltdown in the tech economy that Canada's Research in Motion, maker of the once-iconic but now nearly irrelevant BlackBerry smartphone. The stock traded at nearly $150 a share at its peak in 2008. 

It's now barely above $11.

But that in itself is the story this Black Friday as all of Canada rejoices! Well, maybe not. But RIM is showing its first signs of life in months, up a whopping 13-plus percent in trading Friday.

What's driving this is growing optimism that the company's new BlackBerry 10 operating system and and new lineup of touchscreen phones (better than some of its previous, much-derided touchscreen phones) will enable the company to get back into the smartphone wars, duking it out with Apple and Samsung to retake some of its lost market share.

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RIM, R.I.P.? (Part II)

The International Consumer Electronics Show Highlights Latest Gadgets

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A Blackberry Bold is displayed at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 8, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Business Insider is engaged in plenty of speculation about struggling BlackBerry maker Research in Motion today, after the company disappointed Wall Street with its fiscal fourth quarter results yesterday. Part of that speculation involved interpreting RIM's CEO's comments about "strategic opportunities" as "let's look for someone to buy us." At the New York Times, Michael J. De La Merced joins that chorus.

Here's a Jay Yarow at BI, on why no one in his right mind would want to buy RIM (it's in Q&A form):

...Is anyone a good fit for RIM?

Honestly, we don't think so. This is a company that is dying and in a state of transition. It runs on its own platform. Most hardware makers have picked their partners for software. Transitioning to RIM's software doesn't make sense unless RIM's next software is awesome. In which case, another hardware maker like Dell or LG could buy RIM and use BlackBerry 10.

But, that's sort of silly for RIM, right? They wouldn't want to sell if the software is good.

Exactly. What's the point? RIM could turn itself around without help.

But that's pretty unlikely, right?

Yep.

So that's it for RIM? Make great software or die?

Pretty much. It's possible someone wild card jumps in. Maybe a carrier takes a chance on RIM if it gets cheap enough, or maybe a Chinese phone maker buys the company to get a nice entry into North America, or maybe a PE firm looks at RIM's still impressive cash flow and decides to take the company out and try to fix it.

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Is Research in Motion where Apple was before Steve Jobs came back?

The International Consumer Electronics Show Highlights Latest Gadgets

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A Blackberry Bold with the new Slacker personalized radio application is displayed at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 8, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I've been advocating, to pretty much anyone who will listen, that Apple should buy Research in Motion, the Canadian company that makes the BlackBerry smartphone and has seen its stock price completely collapse in the past few years, falling more than 70 percent. Apple, mean while, has gone from around $350 per share per-holiday last year to more than $600 this week. 

Apple's success has yielded a cash hoard of $100 billion, some of which Cupertino is dealing with through a dividend and stock-buyback plan. But there's still tons of money left over. I say, Why not buy RIM? At a market cap of $7.25 billion, Apple could pick up the dominant player in the business-and-government smartphone market and plug the one gaping hole in its dominance of consumer electronics.

Apple could do this, possibly using cash that it's keeping outside the U.S. (RIM is Canadian! Apple wouldn't have to re-patriate the money!), and still have enough left over to buy, you know, the Eiffel Tower or something...

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R.I.P, RIM?

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The infamous Blackberry.

You'd think that Research in Motion's decision to make a big change at the top, moving out co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie and replacing them with a single leader, Thorsten Heins, would mean that the Canadian maker of the BlackBerry could finally see an end to its long nightmare. The sliding share price will reverse! People will buy BlackBerrys again and maybe even...PlayBooks, the company's largely unsuccessful tablet.

And if you thought that, you'd be...wrong, at least according to PC World:

RIM has gone from dominant market leader to virtually irrelevant in a matter of a couple of years. From the outside, it doesn’t seem like RIM actually has a strategy. But, whatever strategy it has is clearly not working. Suggesting that the current plan is sound is like taking over the Titanic knowing it’s about to hit an iceberg, and consciously deciding to stay the course and see what happens.

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