Motorola Guides Lower

It trims second-quarter targets.
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Motorola (MOT) swung to a first-quarter loss and guided below the Wall Street consensus for the second quarter.

The Schaumburg, Ill., handset maker lost $218 million, or 9 cents a share, from continuing operations for the quarter ended March 31, reversing the year-ago continuing operations profit of $656 million, or 26 cents a share. Sales fell to $9.43 billion from $9.61 billion a year earlier.

The company said the latest quarter was hit by 11 cents a share in restructuring and other charges. That puts it in line with the Thomson Financial analysts' consensus estimate, which was calling for a 2-cent profit.

"Over the past several weeks, we have made progress on the steps we outlined on March 21," said operating chief Greg Brown, referring to the company's plan to cut costs to return its struggling handset business to profitability. "In the Mobile Devices business, we are very focused on improving operating cash flow and profitability. Across the company, the previously announced cost-reduction actions are on schedule. In addition, we are identifying additional cost-structure improvements while ensuring that we do not compromise future growth opportunities."

Motorola said it expects to make 2 or 3 cents a share for the second quarter, as sales will be flat with first-quarter levels. Analysts had been looking for an 8-cent-a-share profit on sales of $10 billion.