BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Layoffs Plan Strengthens Sell-Off Speculations

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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) might soon be heading towards a sell-off as the company is taking on massive layoffs. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company is looking to slash 40 percent of its workforce by the end on 2013, according to The Wall Street Journal. Thousands of employees will be impacted by the layoffs.

BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Layoffs Plan Strengthens Sell-Off Speculations

Sinking business of smartphone pioneer

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is struggling to revive its sinking business, though it tried hard by launching remodeled smartphones based on the latest operating system with a plethora of new features. Last month, BlackBerry started looking into strategic alternatives that also included selling the company and going private. Recent Layoffs almost put a confirmation seal over the sell-off prospects.

At present, the company has around 12,700 employees, and it already slashed 5,000 jobs last year. There was no comment from BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). “We will not comment on rumors and speculation,” said BlackBerry spokesman Adam Emery. “We are in the second phase of our transformation plan. Organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities.”

BlackBerry sell-off evident

Investors are skeptic regarding the turnaround of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) as it has been in red for quite a while now. Last month, the Canadian firm confirmed the news that it is looking into strategic alternatives, which also includes an outright sale.

Charter Equity analyst Edward Snyder said that the game for BlackBerry is over, although it is quicker than expected. He added that slashing half of the jobs in the company makes it clear that they are on the verge of ending.

He further said that the layoffs reflect the company’s sickness in the financial and market position, and selling off is the most viable option, as the industry is no longer interested in new BlackBerry devices.

Sell-off not too far away

The Wall Street Journal notes that BlackBerry could sell as early as November, as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) acquired Nokia for $7.2 billion this month to gain traction in the smartphone market. Microsoft is trying to level up to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) lagged behind Microsoft in worldwide sales at the fourth major ecosystem and clinched a meager 2.7 percent of the smartphone market compared to Microsoft Windows at 3.3 percent, Apple iOS at 14.2 percent and Google’s Android at 79 percent, according to research firm Gartner.

“All the signs are that the company is making itself attractive to a buyer,” says Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.

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