Motorola’s Meets Diminished Expectations
Struggling cell-phone maker Motorola Inc. reported a 41 percent drop in quarterly profits despite growing sales, and pledged more cost-cutting measures in 2001 to revive earnings.
Excluding special items, earnings for the last three months of 2000 were $335 million, or 15 cents a share, down from $564 million, or 25 cents a share, a year earlier. That was in line with the estimate of a consensus of securities analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial.
Today’s report confirmed the downward trend outlined by the company in early December when its second warning in two months sent the stock tumbling to a two-year low.
Motorola’s stock has been in a tailspin as the Schaumburg, Ill.-based company — the world's No. 1 cell-phone manufacturer as recently as 1999 — slipped further behind Finland’s Nokia despite rapid growth in the world market.
Sales for the quarter climbed 11 percent to $10.06 billion from $9.09 billion.
But the company said cell-phone orders fell 20 percent, to $2.9 billion.
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Yahoo! Meets Analysts’ Expectations
Yahoo! Inc., the leading Internet media site, reported fourth quarter earnings rose 44 percent, in line with Wall Street expectations. But the company issued earnings and revenue guidance for 2001 below current expectations.
The warning about future growth caused investors to send shares of Yahoo lower in after-hours trading.
The company said it earned $80.2 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, in the latest quarter, compared with $55.7 million, or 9 cents per share a year earlier.
Analysts who follow the company, on average, had expected the company to post earnings of 13 cents per share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial, which tracks forecasts.
Yahoo posted a net loss of $97.8 million, or 17 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with $37.8 million, or 6 cents per share, in the year ago period.
“By almost any measure Yahoo continued to outperform the industry, and took market share despite a challenging environment,&3148; said CEO Tim Koogle. “Yahoo has become increasingly essential to consumers and businesses.”
Koogle warned, however that &3147;over the next year, we expect to see some short-term effects from the apparent softening economy and the continued realignment of our client base.”
After starting as a search engine in the mid-1990s, Yahoo grew into a full-service information and shopping portal whose Web pages are visited more than 900 million times a day.
In hopes of remaining a rare Internet success story in this weakening economy and beyond, Santa Clara-based Yahoo has been coming up with new ways to make money beyond charging for advertising, which is estimated to account for 90 percent of the company’s revenue.
Yahoo said it has 3,700 advertisers, up from 3,450 in the third quarter, and is getting more ads from traditional companies, including 55 of the Fortune 100 businesses.
Dependence on online advertising has become increasingly risky as dot-coms and other high-tech companies have slammed the brakes on their spending, and Yahoo&3146;s outlook seems to indicate worries about this.
Many analysts have applauded Yahoo’s recent moves to new revenue sources, such as licensing branded corporate intranet sites.
Yahoo said this week it has lined up 18 customers for the high-margin sites, including McDonald’s Corp. and the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG.