Motorola Scores Profit Thanks to Enterprise, Mobility

Motorola Inc. (MOT) fared better in the networks and enterprise sectors in the first quarter, but, despite the Droid handset, still is having trouble competing in the smartphone market.

The communications equipment maker released its earnings on Thursday, and the numbers were surprising for a company that has struggled mightily in the recession and against rivals. Motorola posted an unexpected $69 million profit that compared to a loss of $231 million in the year-ago period. Sales fell 6 percent to $5.04 billion. Phone shipments dropped by 43 percent even though Motorola sold 2.3 million Droid units. The handset unit saw a 9 percent decline in revenue.

Fortunately, the home networks, which will combine with the handset division next year in a pending split, earned $20 million despite an 18 percent drop in sales. Co-CEO Sanjay Jha will run that side of Motorola while Greg Brown will lead the enterprise and networks businesses. Those two units did well in the first quarter but enterprise was the star profit more than doubled and sales soared 6 percent to $1.7 billion. That division makes gear including bar code scanners and police radios.

Shares of Motorola were trading 2.6 percent higher at about 1:40 p.m. Eastern, reaching $7.10.

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