BlackBerry confirms abysmal second quarter results

BlackBerry executives cancelled a conference call to discuss the results following the acquisition bid from Fairfax Financial Holdings

BlackBerry confirmed on Friday its US$965 million net operating loss in the second quarter, following low interest in the Z10 smartphone.

Revenue for the company's second quarter, which ended on Aug. 31, was approximately $1.6 billion, down 45 percent from the same period a year earlier. Both the operating loss and the revenue were in line with preliminary results released last week.

The last week has been a busy one for BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins and his colleagues. In addition to the bombshell of its preliminary results, the company also announced around 4,500 lay-offs and cuts to the number of phone models it sells from six to four: two high-end and two entry-level phones aimed at the enterprise and "prosumer" market. Then on Monday it revealed it was preparing to sell the company to Fairfax Financial Holdings.

Although Blackberry has confirmed the financial results, "There is still a great degree of uncertainty," said analyst Geoff Blaber, director of devices and platforms at CCS Insight. "There is still an awful lot to happen following the Fairfax offer. The biggest element of uncertainty is what the new private company will become. My bet is it will be an enterprise service company, and devices are unlikely to be a part of that."

Originally, the company had scheduled a webcast and conference call with management on Friday to discuss the results, but those events were cancelled on Wednesday following the deal with Fairfax. However, BlackBerry plans to publish consolidated financial statements and a management discussion and analysis of results for its second quarter next week.

The postponement highlights the uncertainty surrounding the bid from Fairfax, Blaber said. "On an earnings call BlackBerry would expect to field a large number of questions on exactly that, and at the moment it can't answer them."

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Tags BlackBerry OSbusiness issuesconsumer electronicslayoffssmartphonesMobile OSesfinancial resultsmobileMergers and acquisitionsBlackberry

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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