A member of the RIM team poses with one of the new touchscreen Z10 Blackberry devices in central London at one of eight simultaneous worldwide events for the launch of the BB10 operating system on January 30, 2013. (Photo: Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - BlackBerry says it is slashing 4,500 positions in a last-ditch move to recharge the troubled company.
The Canadian company said it would eliminate that many jobs in a bid to cut expenses, a move that comes two days after The Wall Street Journal reported an expected 40% workforce reduction at the device maker.
BlackBerry has failed to invigorate its business despite unveiling a new smartphone line and software in January. The tailspin has prompted company officials to explore strategic options, including a sale.
Troubled BlackBerry said the layoffs will help slash operating expenses by about 50% by the end of the first quarter of 2015.
"It could make them seem a more attractive investment -- to buy or invest or go private. I think all of those are on the table at this point," says IDC analyst Ramon Llamas.
MORE: BlackBerry layoffs could portend a sale
Further clouding its future, BlackBerry reported Friday it expects a net operating loss of $950 million to $995 million in its fiscal second quarter.
"We are implementing the difficult, but necessary operational changes announced today to address our position in a maturing and more competitive industry, and to drive the company toward profitability," BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said in a statement on the preliminary financial results.
BlackBerry shares tumbled 17% to close Friday at $8.73 a share after trading was temporarily halted.
The smartphone maker also disclosed disappointing sales of its devices. "Selling 3.7 million (smartphones) is not a lot. There's more demand for their older devices," says Llamas.