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RIM warns of operating loss, layoffs to come

Struggling BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion warned Tuesday that it will have an operating loss in its current March-June quarter and said there will be significant layoffs this year.

RIM also said in a release that it has hired J.P. Morgan and RBC Capital Markets to help the company evaluate various strategies, including opportunities to partner with other companies and license software as well as other alternatives.

Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM made no mention of a sale of the company but new chief executive Thorsten Heins did not rule it out after RIM’s last earnings were released in late March.

“It’s a disaster, it’s bad,” Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said. “The problem is you can’t see a path to a sale until you stabilize the business.”

Misek said if the advisers weren’t brought in to consider a sale originally they are likely considering it now. Misek expects RIM to announce as many as 5,000 layoffs soon.

RIM’s stock was halted in after-hours trading Tuesday. When trading resumed shares fell more than 10 percent, or $1.20, to $10.03.

The once-iconic RIM, the company that pioneered the smartphone market with its Blackberry phones, is facing the most difficult period in its history. RIM’s U.S. share of smartphones dropped from 44 percent in 2009 to 10 percent in 2011, according to market researcher NPD Group. The company still has 78 million active subscribers across the globe, but Apple and Android phone makers such as Samsung and HTC are taking market share.  Read More

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Posted on May 29, 2012, in #business news and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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