BlackBerry Shares Halt Amid Tsunami of Bad News

BlackBerry shares were halted in trading today as the company announced a $950 million pre-tax loss and confirmed that it plans to cut a staggering 4,500 members of its staff.

Quoth Barron’s:

The company pre-announced a pre-tax loss for the fiscal Q2 ended last month of $950 million to $955 million, on revenue of $1.6 billion, including an inventory charge of $930 million to $960 million, which it said was the result of “an increasingly competitive business environment impacting BlackBerry smartphone volumes.”

The figures are significantly worse than the Wall Street consensus anticipated.

In June BlackBerry reported a 47% gain in the value of its inventory last quarter. This brought its inventory value to $900 million. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, it was the largest increase among 75 of its peers.

BlackBerry also revealed that it no longer plans to launch six devices, abandoning blueprints for lower-tier smartphones. Its BB10 portfolio will now consist of just four devices.

The Waterloo-based company is due to report its fiscal second-quarter results on September 27.