New phones boost Motorola’s balance sheet

20 Oct 2004

Comms systems maker Motorola reported third quarter sales revenues of US$8.6bn, up 26pc on the previous year. Motorola chairman and chief executive Ed Zander said that the sales growth was driven by strong customer responses to new technologies, in particular mobile phones. Earnings for the third quarter were up 313pc to US$479m.

The company also reported a considerable financial turnaround with a positive operating cash flow of US$1.3bn, which enabled the company to complete the quarter with net cash of US$4.4bn in the bank, compared with a debt of US$41m at the end of 2003.

Zander said, “This is our third consecutive quarter of strong sales and pre-tax earnings improvement. Customers are responding to our portfolio of new products and technologies by giving us market share growth in several areas. In addition, we strengthened our balance sheet further by generating positive operating cash flow of US$1.3bn, reducing total debt by US$454m and ending the quarter with a net cash position of $4.4bn.

“We are optimistic about our opportunity to again demonstrate solid improvement in our financial results in the fourth quarter, including growth in sales, profits, global market share in handsets and further strengthening of our balance sheet.

“We are continuing to make steady progress on our initiatives to raise the level of our financial performance, create value for our stockholders and drive our strategic vision of seamless mobility. That vision, which is increasingly resonating with our communications customers, is to provide a seamlessly connected portfolio of products which will bring voice, media and data-rich services to people wherever they are: at home, at work, in the auto or out in the world,” Zander said.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Motorola is predicting sales of between US$9.3bn and US$9.6bn, and increase of between 16pc and 20pc on the fourth quarter last year.

By John Kennedy