RIM to Sell the BlackBerry Farm?
Following reports of another restructuring and round of layoffs, BlackBerry has issued a statement warning that its first quarter looks bleak and that it has hired bankers to "explore its options." (See Report: RIM to Cut 2,000 More Jobs .)
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins halted trading of the company's stock just after the market closed Tuesday to announce that he expects a first-quarter operating loss as RIM's competitors and "highly competitive pricing dynamics" continue hurting sales at BlackBerry maker. Financial performance at the company will continue to suffer for the next few quarters, he said. Layoffs and spending reductions are afoot, but Heins added that RIM at least expects to increase its cash position from the $2.1 billion it had at the end of fiscal 2012.
Heins also revealed that RIM has been working with RBC Capital Markets and JP Morgan to help it evaluate its next steps, which could include a partnership for the BlackBerry platform, licensing it or "strategic business model alternatives." (See RIP RIM: Will Foresight Be 20/20?)
RIM didn't elaborate, but many suggest the most likely alternative is an outright sale of the brand, a possibility Heins hasn't ruled out in the past.
The news caused RIM shares to slide another 13 percent in after-market trading Tuesday to $9.77 per share. They've already fallen nearly 80 percent over the past year.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile