RIM profit jumps 73%; 3-for-1 stock split announced

Research in Motion shares soared in after-hours trading after it reported huge profit growth and announced a three-for-one stock split.

Research in Motion has reported its first billion-dollar sales quarter and announced plans to split its surging stock on a three-for-one basis.

After the markets closed Thursday, Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM releasedfirst-quarter results that showed the maker of the popular BlackBerry wireless device had revenues of $1.08 billion US, up almost 77 per cent from the same quarter last year.

Net income in Q1 was a record $223.2 million US ($1.17 a share), up 73 per cent over last year. Excluding stock option expenses, the earnings per sharefigure rose to $1.20 US —handily beating analysts' expectations of$1.06 US a share.

RIM shares surged $28 US in after-hours trading to almost$194 US.

The company also announced a three-for-one stock split, effective Aug. 20.

RIM said itadded 1.2 million BlackBerry subscribers in the quarter, bringing its total subscriber base to more thannine million. It also shipped 2.4 million devices in Q1 and said it expects to ship its 20-millionth BlackBerry this summer.

"This growth is a testament to our strong portfolio of products and services and our successful channel expansion," said RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie in a statement.

"We look forward to the remainder of the year in which we anticipate continued growth within both North American and international markets."