Motorola's third quarter: 4.8 million smartphones shipped

Motorola boasts mobile device sales figures, but specifics remain mysterious.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Following the announcement that Google is planning to buy it out, Motorola Mobility's third quarter earnings results were shaky, at best.

Motorola Mobility reported a GAAP net loss of $32 million, or 11 cents a share (statement), which is actually an improvement from a year ago when those figures read as a net loss of $34 million, or $0.12 per share.

Non-GAAP earnings were 12 cents a share on a revenue of $3.3 billion. Wall Street was expecting Motorola Mobility to report third quarter earnings of 6 cents a share on $3.37 billion.

Smartphone shipments shined as 4.8 million smartphones units accounted for the total of 11.6 million mobile devices shipped during the third quarter. At least 100,000 Xoom tablets also shipped during Q3 2011, but that was as specific as it got when Motorola announced earnings on Thursday.

That's a bit surprising considering Motorola had a number of notable releases during the third quarter of 2011 -- especially the 4G-powered Droid Bionic.

Motorola Mobility chairman and CEO Sanjay Jha explained in prepared remarks:

Our third quarter revenues in Mobile Devices increased by 20 percent, driven by continued strong growth in international markets. With the recent launch of our iconic Motorola RAZR, we now have several 4G LTE devices in our portfolio. Our Home business is creating innovative solutions for our customers, taking leadership in the transition to all-IP networks, and delivering solid levels of profitability. We are also excited about the proposed merger with Google and continue to make progress to close this transaction.

For the fourth quarter, Wall Street is expecting earnings of 44 cents a share on revenue of $4.01 billion.

Motorola, on the other hand, did not provide an outlook for the fourth quarter. Additionally, the Droid smartphone maker will not be hosting a conference call in conjunction with its third-quarter results this time around.

Key points:

  • Motorola announced a Xoom Familiy Edition tablet, the Atrix 2 4G smartphone, and MOTOACTV, a compact fitness performance tracker and smart music player.
  • The Razr phone is making a comeback as part of the Droid smartphone series.

By the numbers:

  • Q3 2011 GAAP results include approximately $18 million of expenses attributable to the planned merger with Google.
  • Mobile Devices net revenues were $2.4 billion in Q3 2011, up 20 percent compared to Q3 2010
  • Home segment net revenues in the third quarter were $825 million, down 10 percent compared with Q3 2010


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