Wireless technology giant Motorola Inc. Tuesday posted its fourth consecutive quarterly loss as expected, reflecting a slowdown in customer spending, but projected a profitable year despite two more quarters of losses.

Chicago area-based Motorola reported a fourth-quarter operating loss of $90 million, or a loss of 4 cents a share, compared with a profit of $362 million, or 16 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Analysts had expected Motorola to lose 5 cents a share, with loss estimates ranging from 4 cents to 6 cents, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Motorola said it expects to incur losses in the first two quarters of 2002, but should return to profitability in the second half of the year and be profitable for the full year.

Sales from ongoing operations in the fourth quarter dropped 25 percent to $7.3 billion from $9.8 billion in the year-ago quarter. Net sales fell to $7.3 billion from $10.1 billion in the previous year's quarter.

The net loss in the quarter was $1.2 billion, or a loss of 55 cents a share, compared with a profit in the previous year's quarter of $135 million, or 6 cents a share. Motorola had a $1.1 billion after-tax charge for special items in the fourth quarter.

Motorola said last month it expected an operating loss of 4 cents to 5 cents a share and flat to 3 percent higher sales than the $7.4 billion reported in the third quarter.

The company said sales in its personal communications segment, the wireless telephone business, fell 14 percent from the year-ago quarter to $3 billion.

Sales in its global telecom solutions segment, or wireless infrastructure, fell 33 percent from the previous year to $1.38 billion.