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Motorola Sees 1st Half Slack Growth in Handheld Unit
Posted: 12-Jan-2001 [Source: Bloomberg]

[Motorola cutting expenses as it tries to keep up with the competition--Nokia.]

by John Stebbins -- "Motorola Inc., the No. 2 cellular-phone maker, said slack growth in handset sales will persist for as long as six months, after fourth-quarter orders in the unit fell 20 percent and profit dropped.

"Company executives said on a conference call that they expect total first-quarter sales to be little changed at $8.8 billion. Though that target is in line with current forecasts, some analysts had thought Motorola might cut its estimates. Motorola shares rose 94 cents to $22.13.

"We were expecting nothing positive on the call, and they delivered," said David Katz, chief investment officer at Matrix Asset Advisors Inc., which owns 371,000 Motorola shares.

"The drop in cell-phone orders is an indication that sales may fall in coming months. As growth in the mobile-phone market slows, Motorola is trying to cut production expenses to stem declining profit and help it compete with rival Nokia Oyj. The company also said first-quarter sales and operating margins in its semiconductor business will fall from a year earlier.


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