UPDATE 15:22 EST: Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) announced that it was taking a pretax charge of $930-$960 million on its next quarterly earnings. The charge is due to a write down on the company’s inventory of BB10 smart phones, with the Z10 causing the most damage.The company expects to lose between 47 and 51 cents per share in the coming quarter.

The company also announced that it was going to lay off around 4,500 employees. That’s about 40% of the company’s entire workforce.

An earlier version of this article appears below.

Trading of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) shares have been halted this afternoon with news pending according to the announcement. The company has been up for sale for a reasonable amount of time, and it’s being rumored that the company is going to announce an offer that has been accepted by the board.

BlackBerry Ltd

Bloomberg reported earlier today that PriceWaterhouseCoopers had been hired to evaluate the company for a sale. The halt in trading could be for the announcement of that move, but it is completely unclear at this point.

Blackberry acquisition

The sale of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has been going on for quite some time, but the company’s decline has been going on for far far longer. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) was forced to look at dramatic strategic changes after BB10, its most recent operating system, failed to gain traction in the market.

Since the acquisition was announced rumors of possible suitors have dogged the company. Some analysts thought the company would be bought right out, while others thought the company would be split into at least three pieces. Some even thought Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) would try to cement its third place position in smart phones by buying the company.

Blackberry valuation

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is a difficult company to value, and it can depend on who is looking to buy it. If PwC has been drafted in to value the company, and that’s the reason for the halt, it could speed up the sale of the company. If the halt in trading is to announce an agreed price valuing BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) will have gotten a whole lot easier and redundant.

It’s more than likely that the halt has been caused by the arrival of the accountants on the scene, but if there has been a buyout offer for the Canadian smart phone maker, we’ll keep you updated.