Research In Motion on Thursday offered investors an outlook that fell short of some expectations, sending the BlackBerry maker's stock sliding even as the company reported a higher quarterly profit that topped forecasts.

Shares of RIM, which reported its results after the market closed, fell more than 5 percent in after-hours trade.

The company's quarterly report comes about a week and a half after Apple Inc , a major rival in the consumer market, said it would cut the price of older models of its popular iPhone.

Palm
, a weaker competitor that could be gaining traction, recently launched its Pre, a well-received handset that analysts say could eventually pose a threat to RIM.

While some investors may not be so sure, RIM's outlook is still robust, said independent technology analyst Carmi Levy. It shows the Waterloo, Ontario-based company is still confident in its ability to keep pace with the competition, he said.

They see it as a threat, he said of RIM's attitude toward the competition's new handsets and their aggressive prices. They just don't see it as highly likely that it's really going to take them down significantly.

Earnings rose to $643.03 million, or $1.12 a share, in the three months ended May 30 from $482.5 million, or 84 cents, a year earlier.

Revenue jumped to $3.42 billion from $2.24 billion as the smartphone maker added another 3.8 million new subscribers, pushing its total to almost 29 million.

For the second quarter ending August 29, RIM said it expects revenue of between $3.45 billion and $3.7 billion, and earnings per share of between 94 cents and $1.03.

Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek said the results marked a solid quarter, but RIM's outlook may fall short of what some were forecasting.

Expectations going into this were really, really high so I think there's going to be a little bit of disappointment with the guidance, he said.

BELT-TIGHTENING

RIM's fight for subscribers with Palm and Apple -- as well as Nokia and other handset makers -- is taking place against the backdrop of a sharp economic downturn. Companies and consumers alike have tightened their budgets.

Price is a powerful weapon for manufacturers to use against the competition in a bad economy. But at the same time, rolling out attractive new devices has become critical as mobile phones gain status as hot, must-have accessories.

You're only as hot as your latest device. RIM recognizes that, Levy said. Five years ago, you couldn't have said that about the company, but now they're probably one of the most aggressive companies in terms of bringing new hardware to market.

Earlier this week, RIM added another smartphone to its BlackBerry lineup as it aims to win market share among both executives and mainstream consumers.

The new model, known as the BlackBerry Tour, falls somewhere between the BlackBerry Curve, which has proved popular with consumers, and the BlackBerry Bold, which RIM has aimed at high-end corporate users.

RIM shares, which closed Thursday at $76.55 on the Nasdaq, fell more than 5 percent to $72.70 in post-market trade. On the Toronto Stock Exchange, RIM's shares finished 37 Canadian cents lower at C$86.79.

($1=$1.13 Canadian)

(Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Frank McGurty)