3. RIM Jettisons Jet
Now Research In Motion (RIMM) gets rid of the jet? Now? Is it just us or shouldn't that shuttle have sailed by now?
Presiding over his first annual meeting since taking the reins last January, Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins told investors Tuesday he plans to turn the troubled company into a "lean, mean, hunting machine" by streamlining its product portfolio ahead of its big Blackberry 10 rollout.Shares of the company, down over 75% in the past year as a result of the Apple (AAPL) iPhone's growing dominance, shrank an additional 5% following Heins less-than-inspiring turn at the podium. Here's what we were wondering upon hearing Heins pledge to slim down and toughen up: How can RIM get any leaner? Hasn't the kitchen sink already been thrown in by now? Apparently not, says Bloomberg, who first reported that RIM is looking to unload one of its two corporate jets as part of an effort to save $1 billion in annual costs. The company is putting its nine-passenger jet up for sale, seeking some $6 million to $7 million in return. RIM, by the way, has $2 billion in cash on its balance sheet and no debt. And while that sounds reassuring, the company is on track to burn through a significant chunk of that savings even before its make-or-break gadget hits the shelves early next year. That's right we said 'next year,' or in other words, after the all-important holiday selling season when consumers will likely be as cash-strapped as RIM. Bloomberg says RIM plans to hang on to its 14-passenger jet just in case the board members -- who were curiously elected with little opposition Tuesday -- need to get the heck out of Waterloo should Heins's plan fail and the pitchforks come out. Okay. We're kidding. Bloomberg didn't say that. But for a company in crisis that just laid off 5,000 employees, or almost a third of its workforce, it sure seems to us like that jet should have been jettisoned a long time ago.
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