BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY) is eliminating a third of its staff and scaling back operations after quarterly sales missed analysts’ estimates by half, a sign of quickening deterioration at the already struggling smartphone maker.
The company will cut 4,500 jobs and record an inventory writedown of as much as $960 million for the fiscal second quarter, according to a statement today. Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry expects to report a net operating loss of as much as $995 million for the period.
Sales were about $1.6 billion, compared with the $3.03 billion average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The shares fell the most in three months.
In a concession that it has failed to gain traction against Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhones or Google Inc.’s Android devices, BlackBerry is narrowing its focus to the market for corporate and professional users. Even that decision may not be enough, with customers such as Morgan Stanley holding off on committing to new BlackBerry devices.