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RIM stock drops after profit plummets more than 70%

Research in Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis delivers a keynote address this fall.

The long slide of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. continued Thursday as the company reported a 71% drop in profit compared with the same quarter last year.

The Ontario, Canada-based smartphone maker has seen misses pile up faster than hits in recent years, including its much-hyped BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, a competitor to Apple's iPad that has been unable to gain traction with consumers. The company resorted to slashing the PlayBook's price from $499 to $199, a decision that cost it hundreds of millions of dollars.

RIM said it shipped 150,000 PlayBooks during its most recent quarter, which ended Nov. 26. As a comparison, Apple sold close to 11 million iPads in its most recent quarter, which ended Sept. 24.

"The last few quarters have been some of the most trying in the recent history of this company," said James L. Balsillie, the company's co-chief executive, adding that "we recognize that our shareholders may feel we have fallen short in terms of product execution, market share and financial performance."

RIM's stock dropped nearly 8%, or $1.16, to $13.97 in after-hours trading. The stock price is down nearly 75% since the beginning of the year.

The company shipped 14.1 million BlackBerry devices in the quarter and said that despite other troubles, the number of total BlackBerry subscribers rose 35% to nearly 75 million worldwide.

RIM reported $270 million in profit during the quarter -- down 71% from the same quarter last year, when the company earned $911 million. Its revenue of $5.2 billion dropped 6% from the year-earlier quarter.

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-- David Sarno

Photo: Research in Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis delivers a keynote address at the BlackBerry Devcon Americas in October. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images.

 
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