Motorola third-quarter profit drops

Motorola Inc. said its sales fell in mobile phone business and it led to profit decrease in the third quarter.

Motorola posted profit of $60 million (EUR42.16 million), or 3 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $968 million, or 39 cents per share. On a continuing operations basis, the company said it earned 2 cents per share, including 4 cents per share in charges for layoffs and asset writedowns.

Sales fell to $8.81 billion (EUR6.19 billion) from $10.6 billion a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial on average expected profit of 4 cents per share, excluding items, on sales of $8.81 billion.

Motorola said sales in its mobile devices segment fell 36 percent. The company has struggled recently to produce popular handsets. It said its new RAZR 2 phone shipped 900,000 units in the quarter.

For the fourth quarter, the company forecast earnings from continuing operations of 12 cents to 14 cents per share, excluding one-time items. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial on average expect earnings per share of 10 cents for the fourth quarter.