It’s hard to please Wall Street. In a much anticipated earnings announcement, Research In Motion (RIMM, $142.34, up $1.86) failed to impress analysts and the stock is being taken out to the wood shed in after-hours trading. Shares have fallen $12.40, or 9%, as the stock has dipped below the $130 mark. Ouch!
The company announced incredible earnings but still fell short of expectations. RIMM reported revenue of $2.24 billion, up nearly 20% from $1.88 billion in the previous quarter and doubling the $1.08 billion RIMM reported in the same quarter of last year. Wall Street had penciled in revenues of $2.27 billion. Strike One.
RIMM earned $482.5 million, or $0.84 cents per share versus $223.2 million, or $0.39, compared to the same period a year earlier. Analysts were expecting slightly higher earnings of $0.85 a share. Strike Two.
The big pitch RIMM wiffed on was its outlook. For the current quarter, RIMM predicted revenue of $2.55-$2.65 billion and earnings of $0.84-$0.89 a share. Wall Street was expecting revenue of $2.43 billion but earnings of $0.90 for the quarter. I had mentioned RIMM should beat earnings but a spike in expenses and the decline in gross margins caused the company to “miss” expectations. Gross margin for the quarter fell to 50.7% from 51.8%, versus the same quarter a year ago. News that the BlackBerry Bold is likely to be delayed from late July to early August didn’t help matters either. Strike Three.
It’s too bad RIMM is selling off in after-hours because the stock could have a big impact on what the market does on Thursday, especially the Nasdaq. The market has been trending lower and it could only be a matter of time before the other shoe falls. The bulls are hungry for good news so that a trend reversal can take place. But the bears have been in control since May. As the saying goes “the trend is your friend”. Right now, the trend remains lower.
The two options I mentioned this morning, the July 150 calls (RULGJ, $5.45, unchanged) and the July 130 puts (RULSV, $3.92, down $0.93), are going to see a big change in their price when the market opens in the morning. Together, these two options would have been the perfect strangle trade for a gain in the 10%-20% range if things hold up.