Motorola Reports Earnings Increase

Motorola Inc. (MOT), the world's second-largest mobile-phone maker, reported a better than expected 14 percent increase in first-quarter earnings Wednesday, continuing its comeback on strong sales.

Net earnings were $692 million, or 28 cents per share, up from $609 million, or 25 cents per share, a year earlier. That easily exceeded the consensus estimate of 19 cents per share by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Revenue rose to $8.16 billion from $7.44 billion, up 9.7 percent and topping analysts' expectations of $7.72 billion.

Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola, No. 2 in the global cell-phone market behind Finland's Nokia (NOK), said sales from that business rose 6 percent to $4.4 billion.

The company said it is expecting second-quarter earnings in the range of 23 cents to 25 cents per share and sales of $8.3 billion to $8.5 billion. Both those projections exceed analysts' estimates of 22 cents per-share earnings and $8.05 billion in revenue.

Motorola shares rose 21 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $14.93 on the New York Stock Exchange (search) before the report was released, then added another 17 cents in late trading. The stock is down 13 percent in 2005.