Motorola quarterly sales and earnings up by 5%

Motorola's net earnings for the third quarter ending 30 September have risen to $116m from $111m for the same quarter the...

Motorola's net earnings for the third quarter ending 30 September have risen to $116m from $111m for the same quarter the previous year, and sales rose from $6.8bn from $6.5bn.

The company expects fourth-quarter sales to total between $7.5bn and $7.8bn.

Excluding special items, net earnings were $132m, compared with $133m a year earlier.

Of its major operating segments, the personal communications segment brought in the most revenue at $2.9bn, an increase of 8%. Orders were up 44% to $3.7bn. Motorola shipped around 20 million mobile phones during the quarter, up 19% on the previous year. Demand for Motorola handsets strengthened in North America, but sales decreased in Asia as the company lost market share in China.

Sales at Motorola's semiconductor products segment slipped 4% year on year to $1.2bn for the quarter, dragged down by lower capital spending by network operators and increased competition in the mobile phone handset market.

In other areas, the company won new contracts, including video games, car navigation systems and handheld computers. Motorola signalled its intention last week to spin off its semiconductor segment into a separate company.

Sales in the global telecom solutions segment, which builds and installs telecommunication equipment for network operators, rose 2% compared with the year-earlier quarter to $1.1bn.

In the commercial, government and industrial solutions segment, which makes and installs IT and radio systems, sales rose 17% percent year on year to $1.0bn, although orders only rose 4%. Motorola attributed much of the increase in sales to "homeland security initiatives".

The company is deploying a nationwide identification system for the Republic of Serbia, for example, combining fingerprint scanning, facial imaging and automatic fingerprint identification.

Peter Sayer writes for IDG News Service

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