Blackberry Maker RIM to Buy Back $1.2 Billion in Stock

Share prices have plummeted more than 30% since late September

Blackberry smartphone maker Research in Motion (RIM) announced on Nov. 5 it would buy back $1.2 billion worth of its stock to prop up the sagging share price amid heightened competition.

The buyback of some 21 million common shares or about 3.6% of its currently outstanding shares would commence on November 9 and continue over the next 12 months.

RIM shares have plummeted more than 30% since late September, after management reported disappointing quarterly results.

The Canadian firm has struggled of late to come up with striking new consumer products to compete with Apple's iPhone and a plethora of new entrants in the booming smartphone market.

Still, with the help of a loyal business customer base, it reported in August having $2.5 billion in cash and investments on hand, and is expected to generate much more cash over the "next several quarters," RIM's board said.

The board said "a share repurchase program at this time is in the best interests of RIM and its shareholders, and will not impact RIM's ability to execute its growth plans, given the strength of RIM's balance sheet."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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