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A Research In Motion BlackBerry Storm

LUCAS JACKSON/LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS

American business magazine Fortune has named BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion the world's fastest-growing company.

RIM was one of two Canadian companies who made the top 10 of Fortune's 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list after the magazine opened the survey to businesses around the world for the first time.

Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM topped the list, while Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world's biggest fertilizer company, came 10th.

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RIM has more than quadrupled its work force in the last four years to about 12,000 people and seen its profit and revenue soar as the company has grown sales of its BlackBerry devices beyond the corporate world to the highly competitive consumer market.

In its latest quarterly report, RIM reported that its quarterly profit was $643-million (U.S.), or $1.12 per share, compared with $482.5-million, or 84 cents a share a year earlier.

Revenue rose 53 per cent from a year ago to $3.42-billion.

The Fortune article about RIM compares co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis to Apple head Steve Jobs and his popular iPhone, and says the two Canadians are "more than holding their own."

RIM holds a 56-per-cent share of the $12-billion American smart phone market, and is expected to see three-year average earnings-per-share growth of 84 per cent and revenue growth of 77 per cent. Fortune says this is largely on the strength of RIM's foray into the consumer market.

By comparison, Apple takes 39th place in the magazine's top-100 list.

However, Fortune warns that RIM's competition is "getting increasingly stiff" and RIM will have to keep up with changing consumer demands.

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Meanwhile, Potash Corp. has successfully cashed in on demand for fertilizer from growing markets like China, India and Brazil and has expanded rapidly through acquisitions and organic growth.

Although the fertilizer giant recently downgraded its outlook after second-quarter profits plunged nearly 80 per cent on tumbling potash and phosphate prices, CEO Bill Doyle has long said farmers can only delay fertilizer purchases for so long before it starts to affect their crop yields.

The company is predicting a rebound in demand beginning in the second half of 2009, forecasting third-quarter earnings of between 80 cents per share and $1.20 per share and between $4 to $5 per share for the full year.



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