RIM faces Q1 loss, shares halted as future is murky

Research In Motion (s RIMM) said it continues to face ongoing challenges in the smartphone market and expects an operating loss for its first fiscal quarter of 2013. The company will share detailed results on June 28 in an investors conference call. RIM is looking to J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and RBC Capital Markets to determine how to best proceed during its challenging transition, as Android(s goog) and iOS(s aapl) devices continue to take away market share from BlackBerry devices.
In a press release published Tuesday afternoon — at which time RIM’s shares were briefly halted in after-hours trading — RIM CEO and President Thorsten Heins suggested there was still hope for a positive future:

“We are continuing to be aggressive as we compete for our customers’ business – both enterprise and consumer – around the world, and our teams are working hard to provide cost-competitive, feature-rich solutions to our global customer base.  On the positive side, we expect to further increase our cash position in Q1 from the approximately $2.1 billion we had at the end of fiscal 2012.”

With regards to J.P.Morgan and RBC, Heins said:

“These advisors have been tasked to help us with the strategic review we referenced on our year-end financial results conference call 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. “

Once RIM shares began trading again they were down 13 percent as the news was digested. Frankly, I’m surprised they weren’t lower as RIM’s transition has been too late and too slow; a deadly combination in a fast-moving mobile market.