Schaumburg, Ill. - An aggressive restructuring plan at mobile phone maker Motorola is paying substantial dividends, following the company's second consecutive quarter in the black.
Net profit at Motorola, excluding special items, hit $299 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a net loss of $90 million in the year-ago period. Including special items of $125 million after-tax for the fourth quarter, Motorola net profit was $174 million. Sales rose 3 percent in the three months, reaching $7.5 billion, up from $7.3 billion in the same period in 2001.
With less expensive cellphones enjoying some success, Motorola's cellphone unit, or Personal Communications Segment, saw sales increase 11 percent in the fourth quarter, ending Dec. 31. Sales reached $3.3 billion, up from $3 billion in the same quarter the previous year. Operating earnings for the segment, including special items, hit $294 million in the three months, up from $121 million year over year. Excluding special items, the segment's operating profit reached $301 million, the highest quarterly figure in nearly six years.
For the year, sales in Motorola's cellphone segment climbed 4 percent, to $10.8 billion, up from $10.4 billion in 2001. Operating earnings in the segment for the 12 months were $503 million, compared with an operating loss of $1.6 billion the previous year.
Motorola reported full-year sales of $26.7 billion, down from $29.9 billion in the previous 12 months. The full-year net loss reached $2.5 billion, down from a net loss of $3.9 billion in 2001. Excluding special items, full-year net earnings were $314 million, compared with a net loss of $697 million the previous 12 months.
Looking ahead, Motorola anticipates modest sales growth in 2003, with revenue for the period reaching $27.5 billion, a 3 percent gain, compared with 2002. For the first quarter of 2003, the company expects sales of between $6 billion and $6.2 billion.