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BlackBerry reports deep loss and falling revenue

27 September 2013, 18:25

Toronto - BlackBerry Ltd. reported a quarterly loss of nearly one billion dollars on Friday in line with last week's warning.

The development was days after accepting its largest shareholder's tentative 4.7 billion dollars bid to take it out of the public eye.

BlackBerry, which had warned of poor results on Sept. 20, said its net loss for the second quarter ended on Aug. 31 was 965 million dollars, or 1.84 a share.

Revenue fell 45 per cent to 1.6 billion dollars from a year earlier.

The loss included a write-down of about 934 million dollars for unsold Z10 phones, a touch screen model that the company had hoped would reverse its fading fortunes.

The phone has sold badly with business and consumer customers alike.

"This write-off is very real," said Morningstar analyst Brian Colello.

"They bought a lot of inventory hoping to sell it.

The auditors were not convinced that BlackBerry can sell it or sell it at prices that the company was hoping for.

“We see no reason to be more optimistic than them."

Excluding the Z10 write-down and restructuring costs, BlackBerry reported a loss of 248 million dollars or 47 cents a share.

The company plans to shed 4,500 jobs or more than one-third of its workforce as it shrinks to focus on corporate and government customers.

It will not host the typical post-results call for investors after signing a tentative nine dollars-a-share agreement to be acquired by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial, its largest shareholder, on Monday.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company's steep revenue decline and mounting losses have revived fears that BlackBerry, a pioneer in the Smartphone sector, faces an ignominious death.

"We are very disappointed with our operational and financial results this quarter.

“We have announced a series of major changes to address the competitive hardware environment and our cost structure," Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins said in the earnings statement.



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