BUZZ-BlackBerry loses ground ahead of quarterly report

Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:45pm EST
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** US shares of smartphone maker BlackBerry down 3.3 pct ahead of Q3 report expected early on Friday

** Analysts on avg expect Q3 rev of $489 mln and a 14 cent loss, according to Thomson Reuters data

** Consensus estimates for Q4: rev of $529 mln and a 10 cent loss

** On Thursday, options activity was largely bearish as traders braced for a larger-than-usual earnings-related move, according to Trade Alert

** Cost of ATM straddle suggest 10.5 pct move in either direction by Friday vs avg 6.4 pct move on the day after results last 8 qtrs

** Company's smartphone market share has been crippled by popularity of iPhones and Android devices. It is pursuing a turnaround plan based on selling more software

** BlackBerry's EPS has beaten expectations in five of past eight quarters, but in Q2 missed by 44 pct

** Stock is down 28 pct in 2015 and short interest stood at 15 pct of outstanding shares at end of November vs 14.1 pct in mid-November