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BlackBerry announces job cuts as profits, stock plunge

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM)sank more than 15% during after-hours trading after Canada's top technology company released first-quarter results on Thursday.

india Updated: Jun 17, 2011 11:32 IST

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM)sank more than 15% during after-hours trading after Canada's top technology company released first-quarter results Thursday.

As Waterloo-based RIM posted a much-lower-than-expected net income of $695 million as compared to $934 million in the previous quarter, investors dumped the embattled icon, plunging its stock below $30 for the first time since 2006.

The first quarterly revenue of $4.9 billion is down 12% from $5.6 billion during the previous quarter.

The forecast for the next quarter is a dismal $4.2 billion to $4.8 billion - about $1 billion less than expected.

RIM reported shipment of 13.2 million smart phones and 500,000 PlayBook tablets (launched April 18) during the quarter.

Hammered by Apple's iPhone and Google Android devices, the once smart phone market leader announced "headcount reduction'' to cut costs.

"This realignment will be focused on taking out redundancies and a reallocation of resources to allow us to focus on the areas that offer the highest growth opportunities and align with RIM strategic objectives, such as accelerating new product introductions,'' RIM said.

With the company slow in replacing its aging handset line-up, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said, "Fiscal 2012 has gotten off to a challenging start. The slowdown we saw in the first quarter is continuing into Q2 (second quarter) and delays in new product introductions into the very late part of August is leading to a lower than expected outlook in the second quarter."

But still sounding positive, he said, "RIM's business is profitable and remains solid overall with growing market share in numerous markets around the world and a strong balance sheet with almost $3 billion in cash. We believe that with the new products scheduled for launch in the next few months and realigning our cost structure, RIM will see strong profit growth in the latter part of fiscal 2012.''

But these words from the BlackBerry boss were hardly re-assuring for jittery investors as RIM stock plunged more than 15 % to below $30 during after-hours trading.

The market value of RIM has dropped more than $15 billion this year as its stock has sunk by 50% since January 1.