BlackBerry Falls After Eliminating 60 Sales Jobs

BlackBerry Ltd. fell the most in more than two months in Toronto trading after the Canadian smartphone maker said it has cut its sales force and moved some staff to the U.S. to bolster sluggish sales of its new devices.

BlackBerry is cutting 60 jobs, primarily in sales, Adam Emery, a spokesman for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, said in a phone interview. The cuts and redeployment of salespeople are intended to get employees closer to key customers in the U.S., Emery said.

The company, which reports quarterly earnings on Sept. 27, is struggling with tepid demand for its range of BlackBerry 10 phones first introduced in January. Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins’s plan for the devices to lead a revival in sales and market share has been overwhelmed by competition from Apple Inc.’s iOS, Google Inc.’s Android and Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone, which is now outselling BlackBerry.

BlackBerry sold almost a million fewer Z10 touch-screen phones from March to May than analysts expected. The company said in June it expected to record a loss for the quarter that ended on Aug. 31.

Cantech Letter reported late yesterday that BlackBerry was cutting its sales force, without citing any numbers.

BlackBerry fell 5.3 percent to C$11.33 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, the most since July 2. The stock has slipped 4 percent this year.

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