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Motorola Cellphone Biz Up

Schaumburg, Ill. — Demand for Razr clamshell mobile handsets sharpened fiscal third quarter sales at Motorola’s mobile devices segment to the tune of a 41 percent sales increase, rising to $5.6 billion, up from $4 billion in the year-ago three months.

The company’s mobile devices segment, by far its largest, reported operating earnings of $597 million for the third quarter, ended Oct. 1, compared with a year-earlier $394 million.

Global sales of the Razr topped 6.5 million units in the third quarter, said Motorola, with the company shipping a total of 38.7 million handsets during the three months, a 66 percent increase year-on-year. The company said it grew its handset market share to an estimated 19 percent in the third quarter, a 5.5-percentage-point increase vs. a year ago.

For the nine months, sales in Motorola’s mobile devices business jumped 23 percent, reaching $14.9 billion, up from $12.1 billion. Segment operating earnings for the nine months came in at $1.5 billion, compared with the prior year’s $1.2 billion.

Motorola’s smallest business segment, connected home solutions, enjoyed a 28 percent sales increase in the third quarter, hitting $710 million, up from $556 million the prior year. Operating earnings for the segment, which includes digital set-top boxes, moved up to $59 million, compared with a year-over-year $40 million.

For the nine months, connected home solutions recorded $2.1 billion in sales, a 35 percent leap, compared with $1.5 billion the previous year. Operating earnings for the period rose to $125 million, from $103 million.

The mobile phone business at Motorola pushed consolidated sales up 26 percent in the third quarter, to $9.4 billion, up from $7.5 billion. Consolidated net earnings more than tripled in the third quarter, reaching $1.8 billion, compared with a year-ago $479 million.

For the nine months, consolidated sales increased to $26.4 billion, from $22.5 billion in the same period in 2004. Net earnings for the nine months climbed to $3.3 billion, nearly quadrupling the $886 million posted year-on-year.