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BlackBerry Crush, Revenues Disappear

By Oonagh Reidy | Sunday | 29/09/2013

Phone giant's Q2 revenue slide, share of smartphone market tumbles

BlackBerry second quarter results to 31 August, released Friday, show a company in the depths of despair, having been left behind in the smartphone race by sexier iPhones and Androids. 

BlackBerry's fiscal 2014 second quarter revenues fell 49% to $1.6 billion, compared to fiscal 2013. Cash reserves continue to slide - with just $2.6 million in cash, investments, compared to $3.1 m the previous quarter.  

Last week, it emerged the struggling Canadian phone maker, is the subject to a buyout by 10% shareholder Canadian insurance company, Fairfax, in a move that will take the company private. 

BlackBerry Z10 cost the company $934m in inventory charges, as demand slumps
Q2 revenues were based on 3.7 million sales of BlackBerry's - mostly older BB 7's. Just 5.9 million BlackBerry's were sold to end customers, including shipments made in the prior quarter. 

Adjusted loss from continuing operations were  $248 million, or $0.47per share diluted, which included inventory charges of $934m on the new BlackBerry Z10 - hailed its make or break device, as demand falters. 

The news comes as IT research firm Gartner advised clients to ditch the platform, once loved by enterprise, last week. 

"Gartner recommends that our [BlackBerry enterprise] clients take no more than six months to consider and implement alternatives to BlackBerry," said Gartner analyst Bill Menezes, according to reports. 

"We're emphasizing that all clients should immediately ensure they have backup mobile data management plans and are at least testing alternative devices to BlackBerry."

"BlackBerry isn't going to disappear overnight and there's probably a six month window to consider and then implement alternatives," he added. 

But revenues are not the only things halved at BlackBerry. Recent figures from Gartner show BlackBerry to be a dying platform - holding just 2.7% share in  2Q13 - half of that recorded Q2 '12, selling just 6.1 m smartphones.   

Thorsten Heins,  CEO of BlackBerry said he was "disappointed" with the results, but noted increasing penetration of BES10, with more than 25,000 enterprise users. 

"We are very disappointed with our operational and financial results this quarter and have announced a series of major changes to address the competitive hardware environment and our cost structure," he said.  

"While our company goes through the necessary changes to create the best business model for our hardware business, we continue to see confidence from our customers through the increasing penetration of BES10, where we now have more than 25,000 commercial and test servers installed to date, up from 19,000 in July 2013. 

Referring to the proposed buyout he said:

"We understand how some of the activities we are going through create uncertainty, but we remain a financially strong company with $2.6 billion in cash and no debt."

"We are focused on our targeted markets, and are committed to completing our transition quickly in order to establish a more focused and efficient company". 

Shares rose $1.01 to $ 8.03

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