Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=113879
Story Retrieval Date: 5/19/2013 10:22:00 PM CST
Greg Brown, co-CEO of Motorola, summed up the company’s predicament in a conference call.
“We have a whole portfolio of businesses here,” he said. “Home and networks mobility and enterprise mobility continue to generate cash. Mobile devices continue to burn it.”
Brown did not explain the sudden dismissal of Chief Financial Officer Paul Liska, saying only that “the business environment has changed, and given the environmental changes, we thought [replacing Liska] was appropriate at this time.” Edward Fitzpatrick, a senior vice president, is serving as acting CFO while Motorola searches for a replacement.
In the most recent quarter Motorola’s cash from operating activities was $201 million, down sharply from $470 million a year ago. Brown suggested that the decision to suspend dividends was partially driven by concerns that cash flow could get even worse.
“[Eliminating dividends] is just being prudent,” he said. “Given the uncertainty that we have in the external environment, the preservation of cash is an absolute priority….We don’t know what we don’t know.”
Company officials anticipated a loss of 10 to 12 cents per share in the current quarter. Wall Street analysts predict a loss of 5 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.
Mark McKechnie, an analyst at American Technology Research, said in an interview that Motorola’s past guidance has been conservative and reliable.
“It is usually pretty decent,” he said. This year's guidance he termed "pretty pessimistic and I think it’s probably pretty accurate.”
Motorola stock closed at $4.03, down 51 cents.