Wall Street found little not to like at
Thursday after the company beat first-quarter earnings estimates and raised its targets for the second quarter.
Among brokerages Thursday, Smith Barney upgraded the stock to buy from hold and raised its price target, while analysts at Morgan Stanley and CSFB both raised their estimates of 2005 earnings. The shares jumped 82 cents, or 5.5%, in premarket trading, helping to underpin strength in the broader indices.
For the quarter ended April 2, the wireless equipment maker posted net income of $692 million, or 28 cents a share, on $8.16 billion in sales. Those numbers compare with earnings of 27 cents a share on $8.8 billion in the fourth quarter, and a profit of 19 cents on $8.5 billion in sales a year ago.
Analysts had been looking for a 19-cent adjusted profit on $7.72 billion in revenue, according to Reuters Research.
Looking ahead to the current quarter, Motorola says it expects to have earnings of about 24 cents a share on revenue of $8.4 billion. That outlook is above the current Wall Street expectations, which call for 22 cents of profit on $8 billion in sales.
"We continue to see positive responses to Motorola's innovative products and Seamless Mobility solutions from around the world. As a result, we achieved important market share gains," said CEO Ed Zander in a press release.
The Schaumburg, Ill.-based tech shop says it shipped 28.7 million cell phones last quarter, representing a 1.4-percentage-point gain in market share. With 17% of the market, Motorola is the No. 2 handset maker behind
On handset market share, says Motorola CEO Zander, "Six months ago we were debating who was the No. 2 and No. 3. Now we are a much stronger No. 2 and targeting No. 1."
Motorola executives said strong shipments of the popular metal-clad Razr phone helped offset the lagging demand for 3G phones, like universal mobile telecommunications system, or UMTS, phones.
Motorola expects a repeat of that this quarter, with no growth of UMTS in shipments to Europe. But when the telcos start marketing the new services on the 3G networks, sales will start to improve, said company executives on a conference call Wednesday.
Industry observers noted that part of
weakness was the slack demand for 3G phones, which is expected to improve later this year.
Taking a question about
delays in the hotly anticipated iTunes phone, CEO Zander said: "I've screwed this up more times. ... I'm not going to go there. Our ducks weren't all aligned in a row," he said, referring to the
flubbed unveiling last month. "I see the product every day. It's good -- you'll like it."
and the various wireless telcos have yet to figure out how to divvy up the revenue pie from song downloads.