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Sat, Jan 21, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Razr helps lift Motorola's income 86 percent in Q4


Motorola Inc, the world's second-largest maker of cellphones, said on Thursday its fourth-quarter income rose 86 percent as it rode the continuing momentum of its ultra-slim Razr phones to record sales.

The earnings topped Wall Street estimates, but revenue and handset shipment totals came in just shy of expectations, sending shares of the Schaumburg, Illinois-based company tumbling in after-hours activity following a 4 percent jump during the regular trading session.

Net earnings for the October-through-December quarter were US$1.2 billion, or US$0.47 per share, up from US$647 million, or US$0.28 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding certain items, including a gain from a legal settlement with Turkish network operator Telsim and tax adjustments, earnings were US$0.35 per share. That was US$0.01 more than the mean estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Revenue was US$10.43 billion, up 18 percent from US$8.84 billion although slightly below analysts' estimates of US$10.51 billion.

Motorola said it shipped 44.7 million handsets during the quarter, an increase of 40 percent compared with a year earlier and about 1 percent below analysts' estimate. It pegged its world market share at 19 percent, which would keep it a solid but distant second behind Finland's Nokia.

It launched 26 new handsets in the quarter, several of them variations on the Razr that has reinvigorated the once-slumping company since 2004.

The company said it expects first-quarter sales of between US$9.3 billion and US$9.5 billion and earnings of US$0.27 to US$0.29, excluding stock-option expenses of about US$0.02 per share. Both those forecasts are within the range expected by analysts, who had estimated sales of US$9.35 billion and per-share earnings of US$0.28.

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