Motorola met analysts’ reduced estimates in its fourth quarter Wednesday, earning $355 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $10.1 billion.
First Call Corp. consensus pegged Motorola (NYSE: MOT) for a profit of 15 cents a share following two profit warnings earlier in the quarter.
Motorola first warned in October that it would post a profit of 27 cents a share in the quarter, down from the original consensus estimate of 37 cents a share.
Sluggish chip and cellular phone sales prompted company officials lower estimates again in December.
The $10.1 billion in sales marks an 11 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter. However, the $355 million profit represents a 41 percent decline from the year-ago quarter when it earned $564 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $9.1 billion.
For the fiscal year, Motorola earned $1.9 billion, or 84 cents a share, on sales of $37.6 billion compared to a profit of $1.4 billion, or 63 cents a share, on sales of $32 billion.
Last quarter, Motorola met analysts’ estimates when it pocketed $598 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $9.5 billion.
“Despite the higher sales, increases in manufacturing costs and operating expenses caused operating profits to decline,” said COO Robert Growney in a prepared release. “We have taken steps to reduce the cost structure in our manufacturing activities and to tightly control operating expenses. Further steps will be taken in 2001 to return the corporation to generating growth in its earnings.”
Despite the weakness in chip and cellular phones sales, broadband communications sales kept an already bad quarter from being a disaster.
Company officials said chip orders were down in all regions.
Motorola shares moved up to a 52-week high of $61.50 in March before falling to a low of $15.81 in December.
Eighteen of the 27 analysts following the stock maintain either a “buy” or “strong buy” recommendation.
Analysts are forecasting a profit of 83 cents a share in fiscal 2001 on sales of $41.4 billion.