Motorola registers 45% Q3 profit decline

18 Oct 2006

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) Motorola, the world's second-largest mobile phone maker, reported a 45% decline in third-quarter profit on revenue that came in well below analysts' expectations.

The earnings met Wall Street's estimates, but sales of the company's popular Razr phones left total revenue still nearly $500 million lower than forecast.

Earnings for the July-through-September period were $968 million, or 39 US cents a share, down from $1.75 billion, or 69 US cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding certain items, the Schaumburg, Illinois-based company said operating earnings were 34 US cents per share, matching the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Revenue was $10.6 billion, up 17% from $9.05 billion a year ago, but well under the analyst average estimate of $11.07 billion.

Motorola chief executive Ed Zander blamed the shortfall in part on lower-than-expected sales of wireless network equipment in the Europe-Middle East-Africa region, which he attributed to delayed investments by customers.

The other half of the missed guidance, he said, resulted from lower sales of certain handsets as customers await its new dual-mode phones, due to ship in the fourth quarter.

'While our third-quarter sales were slightly below our guidance, we are pleased with our earnings,' he said.

Through the first nine months, Motorola had a net income of $3.04 billion, or $1.21 a share, down from $3.38 billion, or $1.34 a share, a year earlier. Sales were $31.1 billion, up 23% from the same period in 2005.

© 2006 The Associated Press

© 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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