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Motorola warns quarter hit by Asia

In another earnings bombshell, Motorola says its first-quarter results are expected to be "well below" Wall Street's expectations.

Tech Industry

In another earnings bombshell, Motorola (MOT) yesterday warned that its first-quarter results are expected to be "well below" Wall Street's expectations, blaming weakened Asian currencies.

The news pulled the company's stock down by 2-7/16, to 53-7/16, in trading this morning on the New York Stock Exchange. The earnings warning came yesterday after the market closed.

The company also noted that its first-quarter sales are expected to be flat from a year ago. The news comes on the heels of Intel's announcement that first-quarter revenues would be lower than expected, news that sent the stock market tumbling yesterday. (See related coverage)

Motorola said the semiconductor products sector will be the most significant contributor to its shortfall. The sector's consumer systems group and components group have been affected by "significant" softness in Asia and increased price pressure in other regional markets.

Paging order levels in Asia also were lower than normal, the company added. Its cellular business also has been affected by the downturn in Asian currencies hit by devaluations.

"Although the company said in January that it hoped the efforts of the International Monetary Fund and others might help stabilize Asian consumer confidence, with the exception of China, that does not appear to have happened," the company stated.

It continued: "Although the company sees some signs of these overall economic issues abating, it is unable to forecast the specific timing or rate of the economic recovery."

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