REFILE-UPDATE 2-BlackBerry reports deep loss, revenue drop, as warned
By Alastair Sharp and Allison Martell
TORONTO, Sept 27 (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd reported a quarterly loss of nearly $1 billion on Friday, in line with last week's warning, days after accepting its largest shareholder's tentative $4.7 billion 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, or $1.84 a share. Revenue fell 45 percent to $1.6 billion from a year earlier.
The loss included a writedown of about $934 million for unsold Z10 phones, a touchscreen 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 writedown and restructuring costs, BlackBerry reported a loss of $248 million, 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 $9-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. Continued...