THE WRAP: Microsoft's warning, Motorola's slip

25 Apr 2008

It was the week when Motorola slipped again and Microsoft gave Yahoo a final warning.

Embattled Motorola failed to meet its guidance. It Q1 loss widened to $194 million, compared with $181 million a year ago. However, the handset-maker predicted flat or higher sales for the next quarter.

Microsoft's CFO warned the company might withdraw its $31 a share offer for Yahoo and launch a hostile bid as early as next week.

The software giant's third-quarter result showed no impact from the economic slowdown. It reported a profit of $4.39 billion, or 47 cents a share, ahead of expectations of 44 cents.

Yahoo's long-awaited Q1 earnings were slightly ahead of analyst forecasts, but not enough to fend off Microsoft. It appeared to avoid the fallout from the economic crunch, with revenue up 9% to $1.81 billion and profit up three times thanks to a one-off gain from the Alibaba IPO. CEO Jerry Yang said the company remained open to "any and all".

Indian cellco Bharti Airtel is mulling a bid for MTN, the South African-based mobile group with 68 million customers in more than 20 countries.

Sony Ericsson reported flat sales in Q1, in line with guidance. Net income was off 48% due to heavier R&D spending, with new products set to launch later this year.

Nokia signed Sony BMG to Comes With Music, its 12-month unlimited music download service due to start in the second half of 2008.

Skype launched unlimited monthly calling packages for calls to 34 countries, starting at around EUR2.

India outlawed telco M&As that give a single operator more than 40% market share.

China's internet population overtook that of the US, with 221 million users, according to Xinhua.

Strong rural growth drove China Mobile's net 37% higher, while AT&T boosted Q1 earnings 21% thanks to wireless, but warned it would shed 4,600 jobs, mostly in its wireline business and corporate center.

Texas Instruments' Q1 profit rose 28% despite lower sales of high-end cellphone chips, but it warned of a weak second quarter because of tougher economic conditions.

Vietnam's first satellite, Vinasat, finally became airborne, fiber-connected households overtook DSL in Japan, and French operator Orange began trials of a mobile e-book reader, delivering magazine and newspaper subscriptions over its 3G network.

And film-maker Spike Lee has teamed up with Nokia to make a short film comprising clips made by users on their Nokia phones.

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