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Motorola reports record quarter

Mobile phone sales back ahead of Samsung's, company claims

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Motorola heralded record sales yersterday when it published the results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004.

The company's sales hit $8.84bn, up 27 per cent on the year-ago quarter's $6.97bn and up a more modest 2.6 per cent on the previous quarter's $8.62bn.

Net income totalled $687m (28 cents a share), up 56 per cent on Q4 FY2003's $441m and 43.4 per cent on Q3 FY2004's $479m. Those figures exclude the impact of Motorola's former semiconductor division, now called Freescale, which it spun out in June 2004.

Motorola shipped 31.8m mobile phones during the quarter, taking its market share to 16.6 per cent, the company said it had estimated. Motorola is currently slugging it out with Samsung for the world's number two handset maker position behind market leader Nokia. Samsung did not

It's comparison of that figure with Q3's estimate of 13.4 per cent and 13.7 per cent for Q4 FY2003 is undoubtedly intended to suggest a gain over its immediate rival. Indeed, "the market share resurgence of the Personal Communications Segment in the fourth quarter strengthened Motorola's number two position in the wireless handset industry," boasted CEO Ed Zander.

For FY2004 as a whole, Motorola recorded $31.bn worth of sales - up 35 per cent on FY2003 - yielding a 137 per cent increase in earnings, which grew to $2.2bn (91 cents a share).

Considering FY2005, the company said its expects Q1 revenue to comes to $7.5-7.9bn, down sequentially from the crucial holiday sales period but still up at least 1.4 per cent on the year-ago quarter. Earnings should come in between 17 and 20 cents a share. ®

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