RIM Disappoints

Shares of Research in Motion took a hit late Wednesday after the company report quarterly earnings and sales that were just below Wall Street estimates.

RIM’s sales were up 66% to $930.4 million in the quarter ended March 3, but that was below the $935 million analysts expected, and earnings of 99 cents a share were a penny below forecasts.

Still, the company reported more than a million new subscribers in the quarter, and the company’s June quarter sales guidance of $1.025-$1.075 billion was also better than expected.

RIM also said it is facing a formal investigation of its stock option accounting practices.

RIM shares fell 6% in after-hours trading.

Stocks fell sharply during the day after Federal Reserve meeting minutes showed the Fed concerned about both inflation and economic growth, a tough spot for policymakers.

Checkfree shares fell 7% after JMP Securities said the company could lose some of Bank of America’s business to an in-house solution.

Salesforce.com lost 4% on a Cowen & Co. downgrade.

Dell gained 1.4% after Prudential raised estimates on the company.

Comcast rose 2.7% after buying Fandango.

The Nasdaq lost 18 to 2459, the S&P 500 fell 9 to 1438, and the Dow lost 89 to 12,484. Volume rose to 2.9 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.02 billion on the Nasdaq. Declining issues led by a 21-10 margin on the NYSE, and 19-10 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 67% on the NYSE, and 72% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 181-28 on the NYSE, and 109-73 on the Nasdaq.

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