Getting out of the memory and Mac-compatible markets appears to have been just what the doctor ordered for Motorola Inc, although its pager business is still in a slump. The Schaumburg, Illinois- based electronics giant yesterday reported third quarter income up 29% at $266m over $206m last time, including a charge of $95m for exiting the Mac-compatible market, on revenue up 13% at $7.4bn over $6.5bn last time. Net per share was $0.34 – $0.54 without the charge – a penny ahead of analysts’ expectation as surveyed by First Call. At the nine month mark revenue stands at $21.5bn also including a $265m charge for phasing out the DRAM memory business, up 6% on $20.3bn in the first three quarters of last year. Net income for the period is down 6% at $859m compared with $916m last time. Sales of phone sets to Nextel Communications Inc for its nationwide rollout in the US drove land mobile product revenue up 37% over the same quarter last year at $1.3bn. The cellular phone business is still under performing compared to the rest of the group, growing 12% to $2.8bn, along with the semiconductor group, whose sales rose 12% to $2.1bn, although Motorola said this group reported an operating profit this time compared with break-even results last time. The pager business declined 13% to $885m – sales were down 44% – because of weakness in the largest markets, the US and China. Ominously, it doesn’t expect then to recover next quarter. Computer group sales were up 20%; automotive, energy and component product sales rose 20% and space and systems technologies reported a 45% increase in sales. CEO Chris Galvin expects fourth quarter sales growth to be lower than the third quarter but net income to rise compared with year-ago comparisons.
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