Moto Shows Q1 Muscle

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) is predicting more growth in the second quarter after reporting strong numbers for the first three months of 2005.

But Motorola's outlook for the remainder of 2005 is less clear, as CEO Ed Zander admitted on the conference call.

"I wish I was an economist with a crystal ball," he joked when asked about the recent rollercoaster nature of the financial market. "We're watching it. We're focusing on efficiency."

For the quarter ended March 31, Motorola reported revenues up 10 percent at $8.16 billion, compared to sales of $7.44 billion in the same quarter last year. Earnings per share totaled 28 cents, easily beating Wall Street's expected figure of 19 cents. Net income for the quarter was $692 million, compared with $609 million in 2004.

"March was very strong. We're predicting double-digit growth in the next quarter," Zander said. For its second quarter, Motorola is forecasting earnings per share of 23 cents to 25 cents on revenues of $8.3 billion to $8.5 billion.

Motorola has net cash of $6 billion to play with but mostly ducked the question of possible future acquisitions. In general, Moto is looking for "intellectual capital" and not planning any "blockbuster" buy-outs, Zander said.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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