BlackBerry Issues Dreadful Preliminary Results

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Trading in BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) was halted at about 3:00 p.m. ET on Friday as the smartphone maker slipped in a preliminary report on its fiscal second quarter 2014 report. The company was scheduled to report earnings on September 27th.

The company said it expects to report a GAAP loss of $950 to $955 million primarily due to a non-cash pre-tax inventory charge of about $930 to $960 million. The company will also book a pre-tax restructuring charge of $72 million.

BlackBerry said that on an adjusted basis the earnings per share loss would be $0.47 to $0.51. On a GAAP basis the loss is expected to be $1.81 to $1.90 a share. The consensus estimate called for an adjusted EPS loss of $0.15.

Revenue is estimated at about $1.6 billion on sales of approximately 3.7 million smartphones in the quarter. The consensus revenue estimate at Thomson Reuters was $3.06 billion.

The company also said it will fire about 4,500 employees in a restructuring that is intended to cut its operating expenses by 50% by the end of the first fiscal quarter of 2015.

BlackBerry will reduce the number of smartphones in its portfolio from 6 to 4, including 2 high-end and 2 entry-level devices. The company launched its new high-end Z30 phone earlier this week and the existing Z10 will be “re-tiered” as an entry-level device.

The company’s CEO said:

Going forward, we plan to refocus our offering on our end-to-end solution of hardware, software and services for enterprises and the productive, professional end user. This puts us squarely on target with the customers that helped build BlackBerry into the leading brand today for enterprise security, manageability and reliability.

The company will hold its conference call on September 27th.

When trading in BlackBerry shares resumed, at 3:35, the stock which had been trading down 2.4% at $10.27 fell to $8.50, down about 18%.

BlackBerry is imploding before our eyes. It’s almost painful to watch.