RIM halted its stock this afternoon about 15 minutes after the markets closed as it released a "business update" giving a preview of its Q1 earnings, which will be announced in full on June 28th. RIM's move prevents anyone from buying or selling its stock in after-hours trading, and allows the market to digest the company's news today without making the share value go out of control.
As part of RIM's current financial turmoil the company has stopped providing quarterly earnings guidance, but today CEO Thorsten Heins said in a press release that the company will "likely have an operating loss" in its upcoming fiscal Q1. In Q4 the company posted a $125 million dollar loss on $4.2 billion in revenue, and it shipped 21 percent fewer smartphones than the quarter prior. Heins reiterated in the statement that the company "is going through a significant transformation" as the BlackBerry 10 launch nears — a message that very well may be referring to continued executive departures and rumored company-wide layoffs that would see at least 12 percent of its workforce axed. As part of the turmoil the company hired both a new COO and CMO earlier this month.
As for RIM's options for the future, Heins appears to be staying fast with his previous comments on the matter. In the release today the CEO said that the company is evaluating "the relative merits and feasibility of various financial strategies, including opportunities to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives." The company also revealed today that soonafter Heins took the reins at RIM, the company brought on both JP Morgan and RBC to help RIM conduct a strategic review.
RIM's fiscal Q1 ends on June 2nd, and you know we'll be listening in on the company's earnings call on June 28th to see just how it fared. Meanwhile, we'll be keeping an eye on how investors take RIM's news once the stock is unfrozen.