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Motorola is profitable after years of struggles, says Lenovo

And it didn't even need a new Razr to get there.

- 01:17

Lenovo bought Motorola in 2014 for $2.91 billion.  

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Motorola is... back? 

As the rest of the smartphone industry grapples with declining sales, in its fourth-quarter earnings Lenovo revealed that its mobile business group -- which houses Motorola -- had a profitable year and its second straight profitable quarter. 

While still nowhere near as strong as the company's PC business, Lenovo says the mobile unit was "profitable starting from the second half of the year thanks to a clear focus on selected markets, a competitive product portfolio and expense control." 

The quarter, which saw the launch of the Moto G7 line of midrange smartphones and the 5G moto mod for Verizon's Moto Z3, resulted in revenue returning to "year-on-year growth for the first time after five quarters." 

It's been a long road back for Motorola, which was bought by Google for $12.5 billion in 2012 only to be sold to Lenovo for $2.91 billion in 2014. 

The company has continued to release new phones during all the tumult, building a strong brand around its affordable G-series line. Its Moto G6 is currently listed as the second best-seller on Amazon for unlocked cellphones. 

The growth and profitably comes as Motorola is rumored to be prepping multiple new phone releases. A successor to the Z3 has recently been leaked and rumors continue to build that the company is planning to release a foldable Razr phone this year

Read: The inside story behind the remaking of the Motorola Razr.

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