Motorola Mobility Still Losing Money - Twice

Motorola Mobility Still Losing Money

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 Libertyville, Ill. - Motorola Mobility continued to lose money in the fourth quarter and for the full fiscal year of 2011.

The company suffered rising operating losses in its mobile-device business, despite rising device revenues in both periods.

Motorola's home segment, which includes set-top boxes and video-transmission infrastructure, posted an operating profit for the quarter and year.

Consolidated sales in the quarter were flat at $3.4 billion but up 14 percent to $13.1 billion for fiscal 2011, which ended in December. The company posted a consolidated net loss of $80 million in the quarter compared to a year-earlier $80 million net profit. The consolidated net loss for the year grew to $249 million from 2010's $86 million loss, but the loss was down substantially from 2009's net loss of $1.34 billion.

 Mobile-device sales rose 5 percent in the quarter to $2.54 billion and by 22 percent for the year to $9.5 billion. Mobile-device operating losses hit $70 million for the quarter compared to a year-earlier operating profit of $72 million. For the year, mobile-device operating losses grew to $285 million compared to 2010's $76 million loss.

 Home division sales fell 11 percent in the quarter to $897 million and by 3 percent for the year to $3.5 billion.  The group posted a 6 percent gain in operating profit to $57 million compared to the year-ago period and a 49 percent gain for the year to $226 million.

Mobile device sales in the fourth quarter, though up 5 percent in dollars, were "impacted by the increased competitive environment," Motorola said. Unit shipments of all mobile devices, including the feature phones that Motorola is deemphasizing, fell 7.1 percent to 10.5 million in the quarter from a year-earlier 11.3 million. Nonetheless, total mobile-device sales rose 13.7 percent for the full year to 42.4 million from fiscal 2010's 37.3 million, thanks to rising smartphone sales and the company's first year of tablet sales.

 Smartphone unit sales were up 8.2 percent to 5.3 million in the quarter from a year-ago 4.9 million. Smartphone unit sales were up 36.5 percent for the year to 18.7 million from fiscal 2010's 13.7 million. Tablet sales, which are included in Motorola's total-device sales, hit 200,000 in the fourth quarter and 1 million for the year.

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