RIM beats lowered expectations as BlackBerry sales fall by 3.2M units

Research in Motion (s rimm) still has a ways to go before it can regain its place atop the smartphone market, but it posted a decent quarterly earnings report Thursday, beating the lowered estimates of analysts. RIM posted a GAAP loss of $235 million on revenue of $2.9 billion, beating analyst estimates of $2.5 billion in revenue. Adjusted net loss came in at $0.27 per diluted share compared to a loss of $0.46 per share forecast by analysts.

These aren’t great numbers considering RIM did $4.2 billion in revenue in the same period last year and raked in $329 million in GAAP income. And it may have more to do with weak expectations after successive bad quarters from RIM. But the numbers are up from the last quarter when RIM announced revenue of $2.8 billion and posted a loss of $518 million.

RIM shipped 7.4 million BlackBerrys in the most recent quarter and 130,000 PlayBooks. That’s down from a year ago when RIM shipped 10.6 million BlackBerry smartphones and approximately 200,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.

The company’s cash is sitting at $2.3 billion, up $100 million from the previous quarter. That’s going to be key for RIM as it tries to ride out this transition to BlackBerry 10, its new operating system that won’t debut until early next year. Earlier this week, BlackBerry announced its subscriber base increased to 80 million subscribers globally. The company said it expects to report an operating loss in the coming quarter.