Motorola fortunes "variable for quite a while" – Google

Motorola fortunes “variable for quite a while” – Google

23 JAN 2013

Motorola was once again a drag on parent Google’s earnings last quarter, posting a $353 million operating loss.

The handset unit generated $1.51 billion, or 11 percent, of Google’s total $14.42 billion revenue in Q4; a figure lowered by the removal of Motorola’s set top business, Motorola Home, which was sold-off by Google in the period.

Google announced plans last August to slash 20 percent of Moto’s workforce – some 4,000 jobs – as it seeks to refocus the unit on fewer markets and a slimmed down product portfolio. It has also transfered control of Motorola’s manufacturing facilities in China and Brazil, and closed Moto’s handset unit in South Korea.

Speaking on an investor call last night, Google CFO Patrick Pichette said the firm was pleased with “the velocity of change at Motorola.” But he warned that it was “still at the very beginning of the Motorola/Google story.”

“No-one should be surprised if results from this segment are a variable for quite a while as we restructure the business,” he said. “And remember, we inherited a 12 to 18 months product pipeline that we are still working through.”

The Motorola situation took the shine off an otherwise impressive set of financials from the search giant. Q4 revenue was up 36 percent compared to a year earlier, while net income was up 6.7 percent to $2.89 billion.

The firm also topped $50 billion in full-year revenues (2012) for the first time in its history.