RIM tumbles after BlackBerry maker reports operating loss

‘Long Shot’

Still, Kris Thompson, an analyst at National Bank Financial in Toronto, said in a note that hiring bankers means RIM is for sale. The company may struggle to attract buyers, though, said William Power, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. in Houston.

“A potential buyer remains uncertain and potentially a long shot,” Power said today in a note, reiterating his “underperform” rating.

For now, RIM’s market share continues to plummet. The company’s piece of the global smartphone industry fell by more than half to 6.4 percent last quarter, according to research firm IDC. Android’s share jumped to 59 percent, and Apple’s iOS operating system accounted for 23 percent.

“Our financial performance will continue to be challenging for the next few quarters,” Heins said in yesterday’s statement. “The ongoing competitive environment is impacting our business in the form of lower volumes and highly competitive pricing dynamics in the marketplace, and we expect our Q1 results to reflect this, and likely result in an operating loss for the quarter.”

Shrinking Headcount

RIM has previously said it aims to save $1 billion in operating costs this fiscal year by cutting its number of manufacturing sites. It also is “reviewing its organizational efficiency” across the company.

That may lead to job cuts of 2,000 to 3,000, assuming the company will try to save 30 percent of that operating cost through labor reductions, said Sameet Kanade, an analyst at Northern Securities Inc. in Toronto. The move would add to the 2,000 announced about a year ago.

RIM’s lack of clarity on the number of job reductions “makes it hard to figure out if they know or understand the magnitude of what needs to be cut,” Thornton said.

Bloomberg News

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