Research In Motion Announces Share Repurchase

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Research In Motion (RIMM) announced late Tuesday that it has agreed to purchase for cancellation 1,530,000 of its outstanding common shares for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $79.8 million, or about $52.16 per share.

The BlackBerry maker said the purchase price was negotiated at arms' length between the parties and is at a discount to the prevailing market price of RIM's common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market at the time of the purchase. RIMM shares closed at $55.93 Tuesday.

The purchase is a private agreement between Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM and a non-related third-party financial institution, and will be part of RIM's share repurchase program announced previously of up to 22.5 million shares.

The shares RIM intends to purchase represent approximately 0.28% of its over 552 million common shares outstanding as of June 24, 2010.

RIM's share price has been declining since 2008, as it became apparent the Apple (AAPL) iPhone was a serious competitor. Back then it reached nearly $150. Over the past year, RIM's share price has dropped some 30%, and fell 18% year-to-date. Its 52-week high is $94. As its share price has weakened, RIM has been repurchasing stock. Including Tuesday's shares, in the last twelve months, RIM has repurchased an aggregate of over 36.14 million of its outstanding common shares.

The smartphone maker has been in the news lately as several countries, including Saudi Arabia, have announced intentions to ban the BlackBerry, citing security concerns. But the Canadian company appears to have agreed to meet the security requirements demanded by the Saudi government, which may solve its problems in the other countries as well.
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