Wireless technology giant Motorola Inc. Wednesday said it expects to return to profitability in the third quarter and exceed analysts' current consensus estimate for the full year.

The Schaumburg, Illinois-based company said it believes it can exceed analysts' consensus estimate of a 4-cent-a-share profit for the full year and could even earn 15 cents a share, excluding special items.

It said it expects a loss of 11 cents to 14 cents, excluding one-time items, in the first quarter on sales of $6 billion to $6.1 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 12 cents according to Thomson Financial/First Call, with loss estimates ranging from 8 cents to 15 cents.

Motorola still expects sales from ongoing operations to fall 5 percent to 10 percent in 2002 compared with 2001.

The company Tuesday posted its fourth consecutive quarterly loss as expected, reflecting a slowdown in customer spending.

The company also said on Wednesday the mobile phone industry entered 2002 with a higher inventory than expected.

"It's important to point out that we've entered 2002 with industry inventory channels a bit higher than normally expected at this time of the year," Mike Zafirovski, president of Motorola's personal communications sector, which makes mobile phones, said in a conference call with analysts.

Higher inventory means that mobile phone makers will have to sell those phones first before they can record new sales.