More layoffs, losses for Motorola

Motorola Corp. this week announced losses for the third quarter and predicted losses for the fourth quarter-it's third consecutive quarter of loss after 15 years without one.

Motorola Corp. this week announced a loss for the third quarter--its third consecutive quarter of loss after 15 years without one--and predicted further losses for the fourth quarter.

Officials for the Schaumburg, Ill., telecom equipment maker announced that it will cut 39,000 jobs in 2001, up from the 32,000 the company had planned on during its last earnings call.

The loss was $1.4 billion, or 64 cents a share, compared with earnings of $531 million, or 23 cents a share, in the third quarter of last year.

In spite of lagging sales to wireless carriers, the companys phone business was actually profitable in the third quarter. The company reported that it plans to ship five million GPRS ("2.5G" general packet radio service) handsets by the end of the year, worldwide. And it continues to lead the way in Java-based phones with its iDEN handsets.

But its infrastructure, broadband and cable modem businesses did not do as well as the company had expected.

As has been the case with many companies, Motorola officials blamed the bleak fourth quarter outlook, at least in part, on the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

``Until the unexpected and horrific atrocities of September 11th, our predictive indicators seemed to indicate that the world would most probably return to more positive economic growth in the first or second quarter of 2002," said Chris Galvin, chairman and CEO of Motorola.

"These events make near-term forecasting more challenging. Overall though, we believe the unpredictability of future military and other responses associated with a global war on terrorism will be offset by the positive near-term stimulus of tax relief, interest rate reduction and a massive infusion of liquidity by government authorities," he said.

Last week, Galvin named Ed Breen, currently president of Motorolas Network Sector, to become president and chief operating officer on Jan. 1, 2002. He will succeed Bob Growney, who plans to retire.