Research In Motion – the struggling maker of BlackBerry smartphones – has said it has hired bankers to carry out a far-reaching strategic review of the company and look for partnerships.
At the same time it warned of a likely shock operating loss in the fiscal quarter that ends in June and said it will cut jobs.
Sources say the workforce could be slashed from 16,500 to 10,000.
The Canadian firm’s shares plunged even further to around $10, near their worst in eight years. They have lost more than three quarters of their value over the past year. About four years ago they traded at over $140.
Blackberries were a gamechanger with their email by phone but the company now finds itself struggling badly, trailing far behind Apple and other smartphone makers such as Samsung.
RIM has said a new operating system will make it more competitive, but its market share continues to fall.
The fact that it provided no detail about the size of the loss and the job losses disappointed some industry watchers.
“They’re clearly moving in the wrong direction right now, so I found it a little frustrating that there wasn’t more detail,” said Alex Gauna, an analyst at JMP Securities.
“That is a disaster. It’s really bad. We did not expect an operating loss this quickly,” said Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies & Co.