Motorola (NYSE: MOT) sold slightly more smartphones in the first quarter, but it was the home division that helped Motorola to swing to a profit.
Overall, the company reported a profit of $69 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $5 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting $5.1 billion in revenue. That compares to a loss of $291 million, or 13 cents a share on revenues of $5.37 billion.
However, with Motorola’s planned spin-off aimed at being completed a year from now, it’s important to examine how the company’s two units performed separately. Sales of the mobile devices segment sales were $1.6 billion, down 9 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. The operating loss was $192 million, which marked a significant improvement compared to the operating loss of $545 million in the year-ago quarter. The home unit reported a profit of $20 million on sales of $838 million.
Motorola introduced six new smartphones during the quarter, and shipped 8.5 million phones in the first quarter, of which 2.3 million were smartphones. (In the year-ago period, it shipped 14.7 million phones). In the previous quarter, Motorola shipped 12 million handsets, of which only two million were smartphones. Motorola is now the world’s eighth-largest maker of phones, down from fifth-largest in the fourth quarter.
Sanjay Jha, Motorola co-chief executive officer and CEO of Mobile Devices and Home, said in a statement: “We are in a strong position to improve our share in the rapidly growing smartphone market, particularly in light of our competitive portfolio, strengthened brand and improved carrier relationships.