Waterloo, Ontario - Research In Motion's (RIM) worldwide handset sales grew by 41.9 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter to 14.9 million and by more than 43 percent in fiscal 2011 to a record 52.3 million, the company reported.
RIM said it remained the No. 1 selling smartphone brand in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Worldwide, however, RIM's fourth-quarter shipments of 14.9 million were slightly behind the 16.2 million iPhones sold by Apple in its fourth quarter ending December.
For the quarter ending Feb. 26 and for the full fiscal year, RIM's revenues, operating income and net income rose at double-digit percentage rates. Gross margins, on the other hand, fell to 44.2 percent in the quarter from the year-ago 45.7 percent but grew in the full fiscal year to 44.3 percent from 44 percent.
Total revenues grew 36 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter to $5.6 billion compared with the year-ago period and grew 33 percent in the fiscal year to $19.9 billion.
Operating income rose 22.5 percent in the quarter to $1.24 billion and for the year by 43.2 percent to $4.64 billion.
Net income rose 31.5 percent in the quarter to $934 million and by 38.8 percent for the year to $3.41 billion.
For 2012's first quarter ending May 28, RIM forecasts revenues of $5.2 billion to $5.6 billion, well above first-quarter 2011's revenues of more than $4 billion, but the sales could potentially be lower on a sequential basis for the first time in eight quarters, company records show.
The company also projects a dip in gross margins in the first quarter to about 41.5 percent from the fourth quarter's 44.2 percent, reflecting a shift in handset mix toward lower-priced products and an increased investment in research, development, sales and marketing related to the company's tablet initiatives. The revenue-guidance range is slightly wider than normal, the company said, because of the potential supply-chain disruption caused by the Japan earthquake.