John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Motorola’s New Ticker: MOOT

Investors already know Motorola has a grim future. This morning they found out just how grim it’s to be.

The company today posted a $3.6 billion loss in the fourth quarter, suspended its dividend and projected further losses in the first three months of 2009. Motorola now sees a first-quarter loss of 10 cents to 12 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson were forecasting a six-cent loss.

Worse, phone shipments in the company’s cellphone division–crucial to turnaround plans–fell by half last quarter. Motorola (MOT) shipped about 19.2 million handsets in the fourth quarter, compared with about 41 million in the year-ago period. Clearly, the touchscreen Krave has done little to revive the company’s flagging post-Razr cellphone business.

On top of this bad report, Motorola has just announced the departure of its chief financial officer, with no official reason given.

“It’s an indication of how much financial stress this company is under right now, and there’s more to come,” said JMP Securities LLC analyst Samuel Wilson. “Their handsets right now are stagnant, and there’s no sign of a new product cycle coming until maybe the end of the year.”

Another ugly turn for a company that’s taken quite a few of them recently–Motorola shares have fallen more than 60 percent in the last year. And they seem destined to fall further still in the months ahead.