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Motorola beats the Street with profits surge

But product delays hamper handset sales

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Motorola had a good fourth quarter with a big leap in profits on a modest rise in sales. On the downside, handset revenues were down a tad - the company blames delays in shipping new product for the fall.

Revenues in the quarter to December end were $8.02bn (Q4 2002: $7.7bn) and net income was $489m (Q4 2002: $116m). So Motorola gets to declare an earnings per share of 20 cents, comfortably exceeding consensus analyst forecasts of $0.16 EPS.

The personal communications division didn't do as well as expected, pumping out Q4 revenues of $3.28bn, down three per cent year-on-year. Motorola blames the fall on delays in getting new handsets to market.

The new handsets have been shipping only since mid-December, which means that Motorola missed out on the pre-Christmas sales rush. But on the bright side, "t he reception to these products has been positive from consumers, as well as from the wireless service providers which have placed significant orders for them".

Also, the traditional seasonal sales slump in Q1 may be offset this year by stronger handset sales, the company says. ®

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