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Motorola meets reduced 2Q forecasts

Motorola met analysts' reduced estimates in its second quarter Wednesday, raking in $515 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $9.3 billion.

First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 23 cents a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, Motorola (NYSE: MOT) shares closed up 2 1/16 to 35 5/8.

The $9.3 billion in sales marks a 22 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it earned $269 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $7.6 billion.

"Overall company results continue to show solid improvement in sales and profits," said COO Robert Growney in a prepared release. "We are particularly pleased by the performance of the broadband communications and network systems segments."

Motorola's personal communications and semiconductor sales checked in at $3.4 billion and $2 billion, respectively, slightly below most analysts' estimates.

In the quarter, Motorola's personal communications business improved 20 percent to $3.4 billion, with digital wireless telephone sales accounting for 97 percent of phone sales in the quarter.

However, operating profits in the quarter rose to 4 percent of sales compared to 2 percent of sales in the first quarter.

Its network systems sales surged 23 percent to $2 billion with an operating profit of $256 million, up from $169 million in the year-ago period.

Broadband communications sales rose 23 percent to $768 million in the quarter, with Internet Protocol network systems leading the charge. Meanwhile, semiconductor sales improved 27 percent to $2 billion thanks to strong demand in the Asia-Pacific and European markets.

Earlier this quarter, Motorola shares slid after it warned that its second-quarter sales and earnings would be lower than expected. Also, there was concern about profit margins on its popular digital telephones.

First Call Corp. consensus originally pegged Motorola for a pre-split profit of 70 cents a share in the quarter.

Last quarter, Motorola slipped past the Street estimate, earned $449 million, or 59 cents a share, on sales of $8.8 billion.

The stock moved up to a 52-week high of 61 1/2 in March after falling to a low of 27 5/16 in September.

It split 3-for-1 in June.

Analysts are expecting a profit of $1.05 a share in the fiscal year.