Motorola loses bet, posts loss


Motorola warned that it will fall well short of finanical expectations for the first quarter, posting an operating loss rather than the profit it had earlier forecast.

``We have extreme volatility right now," Motorola President Robert Growney said. "Some of the businesses are in free-fall. We're probably going to have to go through multiple changes. There (are) major reductions we are going through across the whole company."

The biggest problems are sliding cell phone demand and competition from Nokia. Further the weak U.S. economy is hammering semiconductor sales to auto and computer manufacturers.

The cable equipment unit, previously General Instrument, will have good sales gains in the 1st quarter, but orders for second quarter deliveries are tough. "Orders may show little, if any growth," Growney said. The company's already-battered stock dropped 6% to $16.33 by mid-day.
- John Higgins