BlackBerry shares halted amid reports of pending news: Layoffs and inventory charges

BlackBerry Z10 White

BlackBerry shares were halted in trading less than an hour before the close of the U.S. stock markets on Friday afternoon. According to CNBC, there is pending news coming.

It’s no secret that BlackBerry has been looking for a buyer so this could be the prelude to an official deal announcement for the company. Earlier this week, it was reported that the company would be cutting up to 40 percent of its workforce before year end.

After the trading halt, Bloomberg tweeted information about job cuts, saying 4,500 will be let go. Bloomberg is also reporting a $930m-$960 million pretax inventory charge an operating expenses cut of 50 percent by 2015.

The company has put out a press release confirming Bloomberg’s information, saying it would “focus on enterprise and prosumer-centric targeted devices, including 2 high-end devices and 2 entry-level devices in all-touch and QWERTY models.” Additionally, the existing Z10 handset will be made available to a wide, entry-level audience. That sounds like additional price cuts, likely reflected in the inventory write-off, for low-cost markets.

This post was updated several times as new information became available.

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