Motorola Mobility Swings to a Profit, Briefly

NEW YORK, ( TheStreet) -- Motorola Mobility met targets, but guided for a first-quarter loss.

The newly spun Schaumburg, Ill. mobile phone shop posted adjusted earnings of 37 cents a share, swinging from a 24 cent loss in the year-ago period and beating analysts' estimates by a penny.

Sales for the fourth quarter were $3.4 billion, a 21% jump over year-ago levels and in line with analysts' projections. The company says it sold 4.9 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, slightly below the more optimistic expectations of 5 million plus.

"The improvement in our financial results last year, including profitability in the fourth quarter, is indicative of the progress we have made in delivering innovative smartphones and improving the mobile device business," CEO Sanjay Jha said in a press release.

Looking ahead, the company did not provide a sales outlook, and said it expects to post a net loss of between $26 million and $62 million, or a loss of 9 cents to 21 cents a share on a GAAP basis.

These earnings numbers do not reflect the typical adjustments that would exclude one-time events. Analysts expected Motorola Mobility to post pro forma break-even results for the first quarter.

Motorola Mobility shares dropped 5% to $33.07 in afterhours trading Wednesday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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