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RIM's stock, down 68% this year, falls below book value

BlackBerry product line

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion's stock fell below its book value Wednesday for the first time in nine years, a sign that investors consider the company to be worth less than the net value of its property, patents and other assets, according to Bloomberg. Shares fell 39 cents, or 2%, to $18.91, below the per-share book value of $18.92 at the end of last quarter.

BlackBerry, once the undisputed leader of smartphones, is facing a host of challenges.

The device widely credited with ushering in wireless email has seen its market share plummet as the trendier iPhone and Android have risen in popularity. Customers have complained about numerous product and software delays, as well as limited apps. Several top executives at RIM have departed, and the company has been pegged as a takeover candidate. More recently, the phone that built its reputation on security and reliability was struck by a three-day service outage that affected users on five continents.

Just two years ago, RIM held 46.8% of the U.S. smartphone market, according to research firm IDC. These days, that figure has dropped to about 11.6%.

"I wouldn’t count them totally out yet, but it’s going to be an uphill battle," said analyst Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee.

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-- Andrea Chang

Photo: Research in Motion's President and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis delivers a keynote address at the BlackBerry Devcon Americas conference on Oct. 18, 2011 in San Francisco. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

 
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