After his third warning in six months ("Les Echos" of 13 July), Motorola has released yesterday a net loss of 28 million dollars in the second quarter, after already registering a deficit of 181 million in the first three months. Last year at the same time, the US telecoms equipment manufacturer posted a net profit of 1.4 billion... This descent to the underworld is due to the poor performance of mobile phones whose turnover has melted by 40 in one year. Suffering from a cruel lack of new models for success, Motorola has sold that 35.5 million terminals in the second quarter, is 30 less than a year ago and nearly two times less than in the last quarter of 2006.
As a result, the American down on the last step of the podium world of builders, behind Samsung and Nokia. It does claiming more than 13.5 of the global market while it was to 22.3 per cent only six months ago. This degradation of sales, has followed a breakdown of profitability. The mobile division has 592 million of losses in the first half and will be in the Red throughout the year, as originally hoped Ed Zander, "CEO" of Motorola.
"This branch which had reached 2.7 billion profit in 2006 and 2.2 billion in 2005 could lose 600 million in 2007," predicted Jim Kelleher, analyst at Argus Research, before the publication of the results. Stressing that Motorola is very strong competition on the top models in range with the arrival of the iPhone and the permanent renewal of the range of BlackBerry, the analyst believes little in a rapid rebound. Yesterday, Motorola also gave no indication to this effect. The question of an analyst asking when mobile redeviendront profitable, Ed Zander said, in a big sigh, that "it is difficult to say." "We must continue to refresh our portfolio of products", he continued.
Zander pushed towards the exit
The Argus analyst note that management should continue to be disrupted by attacks by shareholder activist Carl Icahn and Eric Jackson.
It does therefore not that pressure will increase on Ed Zander which could, according to him, being pushed toward the output in the summer. According to "Business week" Web site, the Board of Directors would also seek a solution to replace. Chief financial officer indicated, however, the telephone conference that administrators supported the CEO "to 100.
In the camp of the optimists, Brian Modoff, Deutsche Bank believes that "the worst is over." For him, the course of stock exchange, which has melted by a third since October, already integrates unpleasant surprises. Motorola has almost finished clean inventories, which should allow him to no longer have to dismantle past mode terminals. Changes are probably completed in the branch, with the arrival of a new strong man at the head of the Terminal activity, and Motorola will be able to focus on the implementation of its stimulus package.
Medium term, the analyst recognizes all and "the difficulty will be to find the path of growth" that alone will help reconnect with positive margins.