The success of Research In Motion’s Blackberry Curve will ensure the company announces good first quarter 2008 results, according to analysts.
Simona Jankowski, an analyst with Goldman Sachs, said results, driven by US sales of its Curve at Verizon Wireless, were likely to be at the high end of current guidance when revealed on June 25.
“Our view is based on very strong retail checks suggesting that the Curve remains the most popular device among consumers and small and medium businesses alike, partially offset by a softer enterprise environment,” she said.
However, Jankowski added that she expected RIM’s guidance for the next quarter to fall below Wall Street consensus.
Maynard Um, an analyst at UBS, agreed with the prognosis on the current quarter and said that results for the first fiscal quarter should reach the high end of RIM’s prior guidance of USD$2.23 billion to USD$2.3 billion.
In contrast to Goldman Sachs, however, Um said he sees various factors favouring RIM’s outlook for subsequent quarters.
He pointed to RIM’s launch of its Bold handset appears on target for mid- to late-July, which should boost fiscal second-quarter results.
Additional launches later this year — including a clamshell-style Pearl, a 3G world phone and an iDEN BlackBerry — should drive strong sales in the fiscal third quarter, according to Um.
The UBS analyst also said that the 3G iPhone’s availability worldwide would drive network operators without the Apple Inc. device to subsidise other high-end handsets, including BlackBerrys.
In the US market, Avian Securities LLC’s May handset survey found RIM’s BlackBerry Curve and Pearl to be the two top-selling handsets.
“RIM’s strength in our survey continues to be broad based, as the company was No. 1 or No. 2 at all four (top-tier) carriers, driven by the continued momentum of the Curve and Pearl franchises,” according to analyst Matt Thornton.
“RIM gained share at three of four carriers and the Curve and Pearl remained the top two devices, with the Curve moving to No. 1 with the recent launch of a CDMA Curve at Verizon Wireless.”

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