Analysts had been expecting BlackBerry to earn a profit in its most recent quarter, but the company turned in a disappointing loss, leading to a sharp stock drop. The company also announced it would not be updating the PlayBook tablet to the BB10 operating system, leading to speculation that the company will discontinue the device.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Hugo Miller reported, “BlackBerry (BBRY)’s shares tumbled the most since 2001 after the company reported a surprise loss and weak sales of a new touch-screen model, underscoring its challenges in competing directly with the iPhone and Android devices. The company shipped 6.8 million smartphones last quarter, including about 2.7 million new BlackBerry 10 models — primarily its flagship Z10 touch-screen phone. Analysts had estimated total shipments of 7.5 million, with about 3.6 million BlackBerry 10 units. “
Michelle Maisto with eWeek noted, “Following last quarter’s surprise profits, BlackBerry surprised again, this time with a loss of $84 million. While an improvement on the $518 million loss the company posted a year ago, the news sent BlackBerry shares falling by 20 percent before the market opened.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Will Connors added, “RIM blamed its loss on a charge related to Venezuelan foreign-currency restrictions. It said absent the charge, RIM would have approached break-even in the quarter. Analysts were expecting RIM to earn a profit. “
According to Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff, “Today, BlackBerry (the company formerly known as RIM) essentially put a nail in the PlayBook coffin by announcing that it would not be converted to the new Blackberry 10 OS. That mobile OS is clearly the future of the company. QNX, though, bought and now developed by BlackBerry, is the past.”