Microsoft, Intel and Motorola post fair results

16 Apr 2003

Tech triumvirate — Microsoft, Motorola and Intel — have all posted their quarterly results.

The world No. 2 handset maker Motorola recorded a profit of US$169m in the first quarter. Net earnings were 7c per share compared to a net loss for the same period the previous year of US$449m or 20c per share. Revenue was US$6bn down 2pc on the same period last year. The company took US$148 in special items for the quarter primarily from the sale of its shares in Nextel Communications. Excluding this earnings were 1c a share. The company said that it expected second-quarter revenue to be US$6.40 down between 4 and 7pc on the same period last year.

President and chief operating officer, Mike Zavirovski, said: “Motorola improved its pre-tax profit excluding special terms by US$309m compared with the year-ago quarter, despite a slight decline in sales. We believe we are well positioned to continue to improve profitability as growth returns over time to the total markets we serve.”

Meanwhile, semiconductor giant Intel exceeded expectations by posting a first-quarter profit. Its net earnings for the period ending 29 March were US$915m or 14c per share with revenue of US$6.75bn. It had been expected to make a profit of 12c on a share of US$6.7bn. A year earlier it posted net earnings of US$936m or 14c per share on revenue of US$6.78bn. Chief executive officer Craig Barrett said: “Our financial performance in the quarter was solid with our computing related business doing better than expected and our flash business coming in below expectation.” The company said its decision to increase the price of flash memory chips by between 20 and 40pc had resulted in a loss in sales. It expects second-quarter revenue to be between US$6.4bn and US$7bn. Gross margin percentage for the second quarter is expected to be around 50pc compared to 52pc in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Microsoft reported third-quarter profits of US$2.79bn or 26c a share. This compares with US$2.74bn for the same period last year. This was on a revenue of US$7.84bn from US$7.25bn a year earlier. Revenue had been predicted to be just US$7.75bn. Chief financial officer at Microsoft John Connors said: “While there is obviously a great deal of economic uncertainty ahead our ongoing investment in R&D has resulted in a broad product pipeline including upcoming releases of new products. We believe these products will enable our customers to get more productivity and value out of their IT investments.” Revenue for the next quarter ending 30 June is expected to be in the region of US$7.8bn and US$7.9bn.

By Suzanne Byrne