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RIM hits lowest price since 2003

RIM has dropped to a new low: less than $10 a share on the Nasdaq, its lowest point in just shy of a decade

The BlackBerry maker is now trading at less than $10 a share. It dipped as low as $9.57 at around lunchtime but only marginally improved in the last few hours of trading.

RIM closed today at $9.65 per share — more than 5 percent down from market open. It hasn’t been this low since December 2003.

Its market cap on May 29 was $5.89 billion when the company halted trading on its stock on the Nasdaq to prevent further downward motion. It now stands at $5.04 billion at market close on June 4.

To say that it was close to reaching the $78 billion mark five years ago, it doesn’t take much working out to see how far the once-proud smartphone maker has fallen since.

RIM’s shares have fallen more than 30 percent for the year to date, and more than 75 percent over the past twelve months.

The smartphone giant has been in free-fall since October, around the time its data network suffered a global outage that spanned four days. More than 30 million people were affected by the outage, which led to RIM losing $54 million — or $40 million after tax.

Last week was the tipping point for the company after it said it expects to post a fiscal first quarter operating loss. In short, RIM is no longer a profitable company and has no option but to start slashing and burning whatever it has in a bid to keep the fire going.

But RIM has at least $2 billion in cash at its disposal. RIM will survive the month, and likely the month after that. The company will start eating into that pot of cash reserves quickly because there are operating expenses it needs to pay. If it cans between 2,000–6,000 employees, it may give RIM more time.