to commit to a platform that could possibly be shut down?"
BlackBerry's Toronto-listed shares fell as much as 23.7 percent to C$8.25 on Friday, their lowest this year, before closing down 16 percent at C$9.08. The company's Nasdaq-listed shares ended 17 percent lower at $8.73, after falling as low as $8.01.
The company said it plans to shave its operating costs by some 50 percent over the next nine months, as it aims to focus its attention on the enterprise market and become a more niche player. But some analysts are skeptical that the company can cut its way back to prosperity.
"We believe the most likely outcome is a break-up or sale in total or in parts," said UBS analyst Amitabh Passi.
A source at a potential suitor said the warning on Friday may speed up the sale process, but it also adds more risks.
"I think most will view it as pretty scary. It's a melting ice cube," said the source.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, on Friday said the company's former head Mike Lazaridis has been talking with private-equity firms about possibly mounting a joint bid for the struggling smartphone maker.
Lazaridis, who owns a 5.7 percent stake in the company, has reached out to private equity firms that include the Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group, said the report.
Lazaridis was not immediately reachable for comment and BlackBerry declined to comment. BLACKBERRY Z10 SALES WEAK
Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry, once Canada's premier technology company, said it expects to book a $930 million to $960 million writedown in its fiscal second quarter owing to a ballooning stockpile of unsold BlackBerry Z10 devices.
The company had bet much of its future on the popularity of the Z10 touchscreen device - the first of the smartphones to be powered by its new BlackBerry 10 operating system. While the device drew favorable reviews, it has failed to gain traction among consumers since its introduction earlier this year. For the second quarter, the company expects to have sold about 3.7 million