Motorola reports wider first-quarter loss as mobile phone sales fall 45 percent

Motorola reported a first-quarter loss as mobile phone sales fell by 45 percent.

The biggest mobile-phone maker in the U.S. said revenue fell 28 percent to $5.37 billion, which missed consensus analyst estimates, as the company posted a loss of $231 million, or 31 cents a share.

Mobile device sales were down from a year ago to $1.8 billion, the company said in a statement today.

Investors want to hear what Motorola has planned for future product launches.

The company needs to announce a smartphone competitor to compete with Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, Palm's (PALM) Pre and Research in Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry devices. Motorola hasn't had an industry-changing product since its Motorola RAZR.

Co-Chief Executive Sanjay Jha wouldn't provide specific details about new handset products on the company's conference call today, other than promising to make Motorola's products different and add social-networking features, according to the Wall Street Journal. He said the devices would be sold through multiple carriers in many regions. He didn't provide more details.

Motorola is forecasting a second-quarter loss of three to five cents a share.Analysts are expecting a loss of five cents.

Analysts expect handset sales to fall for the rest of 2009. Motorola's mobile device division shipped 14.7 million handsets in the first quarter and estimates that it has a 6 percent share of the market.

For the first three months of 2009, the Schaumburg, Illinois-based company had a net loss of $228 million, or 10 cents a share, which compares with a loss of $190 million, or nine cents a share, a year ago, when there were fewer shares. The quarter's results included cost-cuts of two cents a share. Analysts, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters, forecast a loss of 11 cents a share.

Anthony Massucci is a senior reporter and columnist at DailyFinance.


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