RIM CEO Thorsten Heins predicts Q1 loss but points to cost savings and international subscriber growth
Inventory costs ballooning too
Sometimes CEO Thorsten Heins must be worried whether RIM (TSE:RIM) will make it whole to the launch of its much vaunted BlackBerry 10 platform.
Certainly the German has demonstrated a steely determination to reorganise, restructure and resize RIM in the expectation that the all-new leaner, meaner company can experience growth in the final quarter of 2012.
As part of this, Heins has had to announce to shareholders that he expects RIM to make a loss in its current Q1 FY13 quarter.
That should be no surprise given that it made a $125 million loss in FY12 Q4.
"The on-going competitive environment is impacting our business in the form of lower volumes and highly competitive pricing dynamics in the marketplace, and we expect our Q1 results to reflect this, and likely result in an operating loss for the quarter," he said, in a press statement.
According to Bloomberg, the company now has over $1 billion in unsold inventory in its warehouses.
On the positive side, however, Heins says he expects RIM to improve its cash position, and its subscriber base is still rising, if marginally.
It's expected to be up 1 million over the quarter, although this masks a continued fall in the US thanks to international growth in territories such as India and Latin America.
Heins' plan for the rest of the financial year is to focus on key operational savings. RIM hopes to "drive $1 billion in savings by the end of fiscal 2013" - the majority of which will come in staff costs.
Yet, the spectre of a radical shake up - OS licensing, break up or trade sale - remains.
"To further enhance our commitment to successfully completing our transformation ... we engaged J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and RBC Capital Markets to assist the Company and our Board of Directors in reviewing RIM's business and financial performance," Heins points out.
"These advisors have been tasked to help us with the strategic review we referenced on our year-end financial results conference call and to evaluate 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."
No surprise then that the company's shares are at an eight year low, valuing RIM at $6 billion, despite its $18 billion revenues last year.
RIM will announce its Q1 results on 28 June.
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