Motorola Solutions profit beats estimates on government spending

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Wed Jan 23, 2013 — Communications gear maker Motorola Solutions Inc. reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, boosted by higher government spending on public safety, but forecast current quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates.

The company expects first-quarter revenue to increase 4 percent to 5 percent from a year earlier. This means a revenue of between $2.03 billion and $2.05 billion.

It forecast earnings of between 62 cents and 67 cents per share from continuing operations in the first quarter of 2013.

Analysts on average are expecting a profit of 67 cents per share on revenue of $2.07 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Motorola Solutions benefited over the past year as two-way radio users were required by the Federal Communications Commission to upgrade their devices for a switch to narrow bands of 12.5 kHz from wideband channels of 25 kHz by Jan. 1, 2013.

The company dominates the two-way radio market with its land-mobile-radio systems and public-safety products.

“In 2013, we expect the end of narrowbanding to result in government revenue growth slowing down to the mid single digits … from the strong growth seen last year,” Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu wrote in a pre-earnings note.

Net income from continuing operations rose to $336 million, or $1.18 per share, in the fourth quarter, from $177 million, or 54 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.10 per share from continuing operations, above analysts’ expectations of $1.02.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $2.44 billion, in-line with analysts’ estimates of $2.45 billion.

 

Motorola Solutions is not related to Motorola Mobility, the cellphone maker bought by Google Inc. for $12.5 billion in 2011.

Shares of the company were up marginally at $59 in premarket trading on Wednesday. They closed at $58.29 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Google names Dennis Woodside new Motorola Mobility CEO

NEW YORK, Tue May 22, 2012 – Google Inc. completed its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and named a new chief executive for the cellphone maker, who vowed to focus on “fewer, bigger bets.”

Google, which made the deal to gain access to Motorola’s vast trove of technology patents, said on Tuesday that Motorola Chief Executive Sanjay Jha has stepped down and has been succeeded by Dennis Woodside, former president of Google’s Americas region.

Woodside oversaw planning for the Motorola integration, according to Google. Jha will be retained to help manage a transition period.

The deal closing came just days after the companies won approval for the acquisition from the Chinese government. European and U.S. regulators approved the deal in February.

To gain approval in China, Google said the company promised to keep its Android mobile phone software open and free for at least five years and agreed to charge fair and reasonable fees for technology licenses.

Motorola spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson said Woodside’s “fewer, bigger bets” would mean a simpler strategy: Fewer but bigger phone launches for Motorola Mobility, which will be an independent subsidiary of Google.

Woodside hired a slew of outside executives to run the company, including Vanessa Wittman, former chief financial officer of Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc, as CFO of Motorola Mobility.

U.S. Department of Justice seeks information on Google-Motorola deal

WASHINGTON ― Federal antitrust regulators have asked for more information about Google Inc’s. planned $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, Motorola said it received a request for “additional information and documentary material” from the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division.

Motorola said Google also received a similar request and repeated its expectation the deal would close by the end of 2011 or early 2012.

In a post on Google’s official blog on Wednesday, Google Senior Vice President Dennis Woodside said the DOJ’s “second request” was “pretty routine” and is something Google has faced in past deals such as its successful purchase of ITA Software.

“We know that close scrutiny is part of the process and we’ve been talking to the U.S. Department of Justice over the past few weeks,” Woodside said.

Google, whose free Android software is the top operating systems for Internet-enabled smartphones, announced in August it plans to acquire phone-maker Motorola.

The deal will give Google one of the mobile phone industry’s largest patent libraries, as well as hardware manufacturing operations that will allow Google to develop its own line of smartphones.

The deal comes at a time when Google, the world’s No.1 Internet search engine, has been under increasing regulatory scrutiny. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Union are both investigating Google’s business practices. The company faces accusations it uses its clout in the search market to beat rivals as it moves into related businesses.

“While this means we won’t be closing right away, we’re confident that the DOJ will conclude that the rapidly growing mobile ecosystem will remain highly competitive after this deal closes,” Woodside said.

Google to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings for $12.5 billion

NEW YORK ― Google Inc. said it will buy phone hardware maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc for $12.5 billion in cash to bolster the adoption of its Android mobile software.

In its biggest deal to date, Google said it would pay $40 per share, a 63 percent premium to Motorola Mobility’s Friday closing price on the New York Stock Exchange.

“What it says is that Google wants to provide a total experience that’s hardware and software (like Apple),” said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis.

Shares of Motorola Mobility, which focuses on smartphone and TV set-top boxes, jumped 59 percent in premarket trade on Monday.

Google, maker of the Android mobile phone operating system software, has been forging ahead in the smartphone market but has been hampered by a lack of intellectual property in wireless telephony.

Earlier this month, fresh from losing a bid to buy thousands of patents from bankrupt Nortel, Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond blasted Microsoft, Apple, Oracle and “other companies,” accusing them of colluding to hamper the increasingly popular Android software by buying up patents.

The Motorola Mobility deal may represent a victory for activist investor Carl Icahn, Motorola’s biggest shareholder. He has urged Motorola to consider splitting off its patent portfolio to cash in on surging interest in wireless technology. As of July, Icahn held an 11.36 percent stake in the company.

Google said the deal will close by the end of 2011 or early in 2012 and that it will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.

Lazard advised Google on the deal, while Motorola used Centerview Partners and Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners, sources told Reuters.