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BlackBerry maker RIM hires outside firms to review its business

May 29, 2012|By Andrea Chang
  • Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins at the company's BlackBerry World conference this month.
Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins at the company's BlackBerry… (Research in Motion )

Research in Motion, the struggling maker of BlackBerry smartphones, has hired two investment firms to help review its business and finances, and warned that it expected an operating loss for its current quarter.

JPMorgan and RBC Capital Markets will help the company and its board of directors review its business and financial performance.

"These advisors have been tasked to help us with the strategic review ... 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," the company said in a statement.

CEO Thorsten Heins, who took over as head of the Canadian company in January, said during Tuesday's business update that RIM was going through "a significant transformation" and that the competitive tech environment was affecting its business.

"Our financial performance will continue to be challenging for the next few quarters," he said in a statement.

The company's fiscal first quarter ends Saturday; it will release its earnings June 28.

RIM has faced a slew of problems recently that have led to a plunging stock price and the departure of several executives, including longtime co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie.

The company's smartphones and tablets have also been upstaged by Apple's iPhoneand Android devices, which many consumers say are more cutting edge and user friendly.

Shares of RIM fell more than 8% in after-hours trading after the company's announcement. During regular trading, shares rose 23 cents, or 2.1%, to $11.23.

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