Motorola, awaiting Google's takeover, posts quarterly loss

Despite a nice uptick in first-quarter smartphone shipments, thanks largely to the Razr franchise for Verizon, Motorola's first quarter didn't go as well as hoped.

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Roger Cheng
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The Droid Razr Maxx's battery life has been popular with consumers. CNET

Motorola Mobility posted a wider first-quarter loss in what will likely be its last report as a standalone company.

The mobile-devices and TV set-top box manufacturer, poised to be acquired by Google, posted a loss of $86 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $81 million, or 27 cents a share. Excluding items, the company fared a bit better, losing only 3 cents a share, narrower than a year ago.

Revenue ticked up a fraction to $3.08 billion.

Analysts, on average, forecast per-share earnings of 1 cent and revenue of $2.96 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Motorola saw an uptick in smartphone shipments, having shipped 8.9 million mobile devices and 5.1 million smartphones. Last year, the company shipped 9.3 million mobile devices and 4.1 million smartphones.

The shift in number of shipments is indicative of Motorola's tighter focus on smartphones. Sales were helped by its popular Droid Razr device, complimented by the Droid Razr Maxx, which boasts a larger battery and longer life.

The company's mobile-devices business, however, recorded a wider loss for the period as it, too, was hit by continued competition from Apple's iPhone 4S and Samsung Electronics' Galaxy line of Android phones. Beyond those two, few other Android vendors have seen market share gains.

The company actually saw a slight improvement in earnings from its home division, which makes, among other things, cable set-top boxes. Revenue, however, ticked down on the slower-growing business.

Motorola is biding its time before it gets acquired by Google. The deal is expected to close by the end of the first half. While Google has said it plans to run Motorola's handset business as a separate unit, the company largely acquired Motorola for its patent library.