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Motorola warns of quarterly loss

Weak phone sales blamed

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Motorola has warned that it expects to see a first quarter loss after a downturn in sales of its mobile phones.

It has scaled back its sales forecast by at least $1bn for the first quarter of 2007 with a new projection set at between $9.2bn and $9.3bn.

The company also said it will accelerate its share buyback programme.

According to today's Financial Times this is seen as a move to appease billionaire Wall Street investor Carl Icahn, who has expressed his intention to acquire a six per cent stake in Motorola, which would make him the firm's second largest shareholder.

Motorola chief executive Ed Zander said: "Performance in our mobile phone business continues to be unacceptable and we are committed to restoring its profitability.

"After a further review following the leadership change in our mobile devices business, we now recognise that returning the business to acceptable performance will take more time and greater effort."

In related news, Motorola, the world's second largest mobile phone maker, has announced a number of appointments following the departure of former head of the mobile business Ron Gariques last month.

Greg Brown becomes president and chief operating officer with immediate effect, while Thomas Meredith will step into David Devonshire's shoes as acting chief financial officer from 1 April.

Shares in Motorola are currently trading at $18.74 on the New York Stock Exchange. ®

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