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SOS: Blackberry to Layoff 40% of Workforce, Stock Value Plunges

SOS: Blackberry to Layoff 40% of Workforce, Stock Value Plunges

[Editor's note: the following is a cross post that originally appeared onCNBC.com]:

BlackBerry said Friday it will slash 4,500 jobs, or above 40 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring and announced preliminary earnings and revenue that fell short of Wall Street's estimates.

As part of the massive restructuring, the struggling company said it targets reduction of its operating expenditures by approximately 50 percent by end of the first quarter in fiscal 2015.

Trading in shares of BlackBerry had been halted due to "news pending" on both Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange.

In the minutes after trading resumed at 3:35 pm ET, the shares plunged as much as 23 percent to $8.06, before bouncing back a bit from its low. They closed at $8.83, down $1.79 or 17.1 percent.

Before the late-session halt, BlackBerry was priced at $10.27, down $0.25 or 2.38 percent on the day.

"The company has sailed off a cliff," said Collin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners. "What do you expect when you announce you're up for sale? Who wants to commit to a platform that could possibly be shut down?"

Following the news, David Garrity, a principal at GVA Research, said "today's announcement just brought the end game a lot closer.

Garrity estimated the value of its intellectual property between $5 and $6 per share. "There's still that intellectual property portal that's going to be of value to somebody," he added.

The company said its sees a second-quarter loss excluding items of 47 cents to 51 cents per share, more than the 27-cent loss per share share in the year-earlier period.

It expects revenue to decline to $2.6 billion from $3.1 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected the company to report a loss excluding items of 15 cents a share on $3.06 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

There has been speculation about a possible sale of the company. Earlier this month, Dow Jones reported the struggling handset maker was trying to quickly auction itself off.



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