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Innovation

Motorola turns profit in fourth quarter, but outlook weak

Motorola is making progress on its turnaround, but the company's fourth quarter revenue total and first quarter outlook illustrated there's a lot more work to do.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Motorola is making progress on its turnaround, but the company's fourth quarter revenue total and first quarter outlook illustrated there's a lot more work to do.

Motorola reported fourth quarter earnings of $142 million, or 6 cents a share. That tally includes 3 cents of charges. Revenue was $5.7 billion in the quarter. Wall Street was expecting fourth quarter earnings of 8 cents a share on revenue of $5.94 billion.

In other words, Motorola's earnings were solid, but revenue fell short (statement). And the outlook wasn't so hot either. For the first quarter, Motorola projected a loss of a penny a share to 3 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting a profit of 3 cents a share.

For the year, Motorola delivered a loss from continuing operations of $51 million, or 5 cents a share, on revenue of $22 billion, down from $30.1 billion a year ago.

By the numbers:

  • Motorola's mobile device unit, which is headlined by the Droid smartphone, had sales of $1.8 billion and an operating loss of $132 million. The division did ship 12 million handsets, including 2 million smartphones.
  • The home and networks mobility unit had fourth quarter operating earnings of $91 million on sales of $2 billion.
  • Enterprise mobility had operating earnings of $368 million on sales of $2 billion.

In a statement, Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha said the company's first Android smartphone devices "have been very well received." The plan: Jha said that the company will launch at least 20 smartphone devices globally and develop its MotoBlur service. On a conference call, Jha said that device shipments would be below fourth quarter levels in the first quarter.

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