Motorola Forecasts a Brighter 2003

The company, which will debut new phones, expects to benefit from homeland security initiative and an increase in demand for telematics.

Although Motorola Inc. expects sales to slow down in the first quarter after a relatively successful holiday season, it is expecting 2003 to be a much better year than 2002.

The Schaumburg, Ill., company expects to see sales increases in its personal communications systems segment; commercial, government and industrial solutions segment; semiconductor segment; and integrated electronics systems segment, officials said in a conference call on Wednesday.

Motorola will roll out several new phones in 2003, the majority of which will have color screens and many will have integrated cameras, officials said.

For its commercial, government and industrial solutions segment, the company expects to benefit from the United States homeland security initiative as well as an expected increase in the demand for two-way radios, officials said.

The integrated electronic systems segment includes the unit that sells electronics for automobiles, and Motorola is hoping to see an increase in the demand for telematics.

Sales declines are expected in the global telecom solutions and broadband communications units. Officials said they expect wireless infrastructure industry revenue to decline 6 percent to 12 percent in 2003.

In general, 2002 was a tough year for Motorola, but not as bad as 2001.

On Tuesday, the company posted for the fourth quarter of 2002 a net profit of $174 million, or eight cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.2 billion, or 55 cents per share, for the same quarter last year.

Sales of the companys CDMA (code division multiple access), TDMA (time division multiple access) and GSM (global system for mobile communications) phones were up compared with a year ago, but sales of the companys iDEN walkie-talkie phones were down. Officials blamed this on inventory adjustments from Nextel Communications, the main carrier of iDEN phones.

For the full year, Motorola posted a $2.5 billion net loss, compared with the $3.9 billion loss the company suffered in 2001.