Shares of Research in Motion, LTD (Nasdaq: RIMM) surged to a 3 ½ year high on Friday, a day after the Blackberry maker posted a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street expectations.

Shares of Research in Motion rose $34.40, 20.77 percent, to reach $199.99 in regular trading hours on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

RIM said late Thursday that net income for the fiscal first quarter jumped 73 percent to $223.2 million or $1.17 a share, from 67 cents per share, or $128.8 million a year earlier due to strong sales of its popular Blackberry mobile devices.

The profit blew past an average of estimates by analysts from Thomson Financial of $1.06 per share.

“We are starting fiscal 2008 with strong operating performance, including record revenue, earnings and subscriber results, said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at RIM.

Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM said it added nearly 1.2 million BlackBerry subscribers in the quarter, beating its April forecast of 1.15 million people.

Revenue for the company's first fiscal quarter rose nearly 77 percent to $1.08 billion compared with $613.1 million last year. This also beat analysts' estimates of $1.05 billion.

Research In Motion introduced consumer-friendly phones with cameras and music players last quarter in a bid to expand beyond corporate customers.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company has maintained sales growth as competition intensifies with Nokia Oyj and Motorola Inc. It's also had to counter growing buzz around Apple's iPhone, went on sale on Friday.

RIM said it now has more than 9 million total subscriber accounts.