Motorola reports US$3.6b loss

Phone sales halve in fourth quarter

Motorola reported a net loss of US$3.6 billion, or $1.57 per share, for the fourth quarter, attributing much of it to tax charges and goodwill write-downs.

The company reported revenue for the quarter of $7.14 billion, down 26 percent from a year earlier, with the biggest decline in its mobile phone division, where revenue fell 51% to $2.35 billion.

Of the $1.57 per share loss for the quarter, deferred taxes accounted for $0.91, goodwill impairment $0.71 and investment impairments 0.09.

Charges relating to business reorganisation accounted for a loss of $0.05 per share. Motorola says it expects these and other reorganisation measures will help it save around $1.5 billion this year.

Looking ahead, Motorola said that through the first quarter it expected losses to continue at between $0.10 and $0.12 per share, excluding the cost of reorganisation, but did not comment on the period after that. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a per share loss $0.06 for the first quarter.

The company has suspended the payment of dividends until further notice.

Motorola also said it is looking for a new CFO, after the previous post holder, Paul J. Liska, resigned. The company has appointed its corporate controller Edward J. Fitzpatrick as interim CFO.

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