Motorola sees Q4 profits double and sales rise

21 Jan 2004

Motorola, one of the world’s largest communications equipment manufacturers, reported that its Q4 profits double on higher sales on its products as a result of end markets for its products showing strength across the board.

The company reported a fourth-quarter net profit of US$489m, or 20 cents a share, compared with US$174m, or 8 cents a share, during the same quarter last year. Excluding one-time items, Motorola earned 17 cents a share, topping analysts’ estimates for a 13-cent profit.

Sales in the quarter rose 4pc to US$8.02bn from the year-ago quarter, and increased 17pc from the previous quarter. Analysts had expected US$7.73 billion in sales revenues.

Motorola said in October it expected Q4 net earnings of 8 cents to 12 cents a share on sales in the range of US$7.5bn to US$7.8 bn. Excluding one-time items, it said it expected to earn 11 cents to 15 cents a share. The company repeated that forecast in November and last month.

“Both sales and earnings exceeded the guidance given by the company at the start of the quarter,” said chief executive Ed Zander, who took over the reins of the company last month.

“Just as important, these results provide further evidence that top-line growth has returned and that further improvement in profitability can be achieved.”

Despite the improved results, however, the company indicated that Q1 2004 results are expected to be close to Wall Street’s forecast. Motorola projected earnings of 5 cents to 7 cents a share on revenue of US$6.4bn to US$6.8bn. Analysts estimate profit of 6 cents a share on revenue of US$6.4bn.

Following the results released yesterday, Motorola’s stock on the New York Stock Exchange rose 10 cents to US$17.05.

By John Kennedy