Motorola (NYSE: MOT) reported a fourth quarter loss of $3.6 billion, or $1.57 a share, hit by falling sales, particularly in its mobile handset unit. Sales dropped 26 percent, sinking to $7.1 billion, and missing analyst expectations of $7.2 billion. Mobile Devices saw sales drop to $2.35 billion, a 51 percent decline compared to the same period last year. The operating loss was $595 million, compared to an operating loss of $388 million in the year-ago quarter. The struggling handset maker shipped 19.2 million handsets in the quarter, which it estimated gave it a 6.5 percent of the global market. It blamed the unit’s poor performance on the weakening economy and on “gaps in its portfolio.” Motorola also said it was suspending its dividend, and was embarking on a cost savings plan that aimed to save $1.5 billion in 2009. In another blow, Paul Liska, its chief financial officer, is leaving the company. SVP and corporate controller Edward J. Fitzpatrick has been named acting CFO until Motorola can find a replacement.
Other Earnings Highlights:
— Home and Networks Mobility: Sales were down 5 percent to $2.6 billion, compared with the year-ago quarter. Operating earnings increased to $257 million, compared with operating earnings of $192 million in the year-ago quarter.
— Enterprise Mobility Solutions: Sales were up $2.2 billion, compared with the year-ago quarter. Operating earnings increased to $466 million, compared with operating earnings of $451 million in the year-ago quarter.
Conference Call Highlights:
— Sanjay Jha, co-CEO, says company will narrow its portfolio to focus on mid to high-tier devices that deliver data functionality–given that this is driving operator revenues right now.
— How to differentiate an Android-based Moto phone given number of competitors? Attracted to Android despite competition because got great deal of traction, see lots of applications being written for it, OS is built from the ground up with mobile internet in mind. Moto advantages