Project I: capital budgeting projects undertaken by motorola
Ranking 152nd in the 2007 Forbes 2000 List (Special Report: The Global 2000. Forbes Magazine, March 2007 Issue), Motorola, Inc. is known around the world for innovation and leadership in wireless and broadband communications. Inspired by their vision of Seamless Mobility, the people of Motorola are committed to helping you get and stay connected simply and seamlessly to the people, information, and entertainment that you want and need. They do that by designing and delivering “must have” products, “must do” experiences and powerful networks – along with a full complement of support services. A Fortune 100 company with global presence and impact, Motorola had sales of US$42.9 billion in 2006. (2006 Annual Report of Motorola, Inc.)
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Motorola has three primary business units: namely, the Enterprise Mobility Solutions, the Home & Networks Mobility and the Mobile Devices. (The Motorola, Inc. company website)
The Enterprise Mobility Solutions group includes the mission-critical communications offered by the U.S. government and public safety sectors and Motorola’s enterprise mobility business. This group designs, manufactures, sells, installs and services analog and digital two-way radio as well as voice and data communications products and systems. This group delivers mobile computing, advanced data capture, wireless infrastructure and RFID solutions not only to clients in the public sector, but also to retail, manufacturing, wholesale distribution, healthcare, travel and transportation customers worldwide. Through innovative technology, this group helps people integrate, optimize and manage their networks to constantly stay connected as they move about their daily lives. (The Motorola, Inc. company website)
The Home & Networks Mobility unit delivers to subscribers their required bandwidth-intensive, experience-based services regardless of the network architecture. This service of the Motorola business unit has capitalized on the growing trend of subscribers’ preference by providing integrated, end-to-end systems that reliably enable uninterrupted access to digital entertainment, information and communications services over a variety of wired and wireless solutions. Motorola designs, manufactures, sells and services digital video system solutions and interactive set-top devices; voice and data modems for digital subscriber line and cable networks; and, broadband access system (including cellular infrastructure systems) for cable and satellite television operators, wireline carriers and wireless service providers. With these solutions, Motorola empowers consumers by connecting their homes – easily keeping contacts, content and services within reach. (The Motorola, Inc. company website)
The third business unit of Motorola, Inc. is the Mobile Devices. As a pioneer in wireless communications, Motorola has transformed the cell phone into an icon of personal technology – an integral part of daily communications, data management and mobile entertainment. Motorola not only designs, manufactures, sells and services wireless handsets, but also licenses its vast portfolio of intellectual property. Their collection ps all cellular and wireless systems and includes integrated software applications as well as a large complement of Bluetooth-enabled accessories. (The Motorola, Inc. company website)
In a letter written in March 2007 by Mr. Ed Zander, the Chairman and CEO of Motorola, Inc., he stressed that under his leadership, Motorola will remain to focus on profitable growth and more selective pursuit of market share and will continue to make investments for the future of the company. (2006 Annual Report of Motorola, Inc.)
Indeed, Motorola has invested in several projects utilizing huge funds. All these projects underwent the same process of initially being proposed as an item for discussion, deliberation and approval of the Board of Directors of the company – in short, they all were given uniform treatment as ventures involving “capital budgeting”.
In 2006, Motorola Ventures invested $300 million in Clearwire, a high-speed wireless broadband services provider. NextNet Wireless also adds leading non-line-of-sight wireless broadband infrastructure equipment to the Motorola portfolio. These capital budgeting engagements of Motorola were mentioned in the same letter of the company chairman and CEO. (2006 Annual Report of Motorola, Inc.)
The New York Times has published an article written by The Associated Press entitled, “Motorola to Buy Rival of Blackberry.” With no financial terms disclosed, the article reported that Motorola signified its plans to buy Good Technology in a deal that should improve the prospects for its new Q hand-held device. (The Associated Press. Motorola to Buy Rival of Blackberry; The New York Times, November 11, 2006 Issue). This is a capital budgeting concern, if ever it is to push through.
In another issue of The New York Times, an article entitled,”Google Enters the Wireless World” names Motorola as one of the powerful partners that Google has signed up with to develop and market the phones in Google’s bid to develop new software technologies aimed at turning cellphones into powerful mobile computers. The group, the Open Handset Alliance, expects to start selling the Google-powered phones in the second half of next year. (Miguel Helft and John Markoff. Google Enters the Wireless World; The New York Times, November 6, 2006 Issue). Being part of this alliance is another capital budgeting item in the books of Motorola. The research and development costs, the operating costs and marketing expenses related to Motorola’s involvement in this alliance are items recorded not as ordinary expenses of the company’s regular operations, but rather are lumped as an capital investment infused in a venture that management believes to be viable, profitable and beneficial for the company. Read also when delivering a briefing volume and rate are classified
In one more issue of The New York Times, an article entitled, “Headset Kills the Noise for Both Sides of the Conversation” features Motorola’s new Bluetooth headset, the Motopure H12, which uses noise-cancelling technology to filter out background noise so the user can hear the person on the other end. It also works in the opposite direction, so the other caller does not hear all the background noise. In the article, Motorola said that it researched the shape of the human ear in designing the Motopure H12. (Stephen C. Miller. Headset Kills the Noise for Both Sides of the Conversation; The New York Times, December 6, 2007 Issue) All these efforts on research and development spell out costs which are, again, investments of the company for the design and manufacture of specific models. Thus, it is another item in the capital budgeting list.
The company website of Motorola, Inc. includes an archive of the company’s news releases. There specifically are those that cover investments made by Motorola in its efforts to establish its mark in the market as an industry leader.
In November 2007, Motorola, Inc., through Motorola Ventures, its strategic venture capital arm, announced that it has made an equity investment in Tilefile Limited. The latter has developed an innovative social media platform that connects users and communities through a “content-neutral” media format. “It is clear that Tilefile is powering the next generation of social interaction around media through its unique and content neutral approach,” said Reese Schroeder, the Managing Director of Motorola Ventures. “Our investment reflects our commitment to innovative companies, such as Tilefile, as they strive to seamlessly connect people and communities.” (Archives of News Releases at the Motorola company website)
Also in November 2007, the company through its venture capital arm announced that it has made an equity investment in ViVOtech Inc., an acknowledged leader in contactless and mobile phone payment technologies. Unlike other contactless technology offerings available on the mobile application market today, ViVOtech’s platform is designed for easy collaboration among users, mobile operators and technology providers to deliver the most intuitive and integrated consumer experience across a range of new customer services. This is one reason why Motorola has seen fit to also allot investment resources for buying shares of this company. (Archives of News Releases at the Motorola company website)
In similar ways, Motorola has invested in some other identified companies in the form of equity acquisition. One other example of the companies that Motorola has infused capital in is VOCEL, a pioneering wireless push technology company and developer of the Interactive Commerce Accelerator (ICA) wake-up mobile marketing service. (Archives of News Releases at the Motorola company website)
In April 2007, the same move was made for Vocera Communications, the developer of the communications system that allows mobile workers to connect are communicate business-critical information over a facility’s wireless network through a hands-free, wearable badge.
In March 2007, Motorola made an equity investment in AMIMON, Inc., an emerging leader in semiconductor technology for wireless transmission of high-definition (HD) video. This capital budgeting item that eventually was actualized is due to Motorola’s confidence that AMIMON’s WHDI Technology is setting a new standard in wireless HDTV connectivity which nicely aligns with Motorola’s connected home strategy. (Archives of News Releases at the Motorola company website)
These are but some of the capital budgeting moves made by Motorola which prove that it is not a company that just sits and watches action taking place in the industry. It goes forth and gets a major slice of the action, and will not be left behind – all these with the sustainability of the company’s operations and the realization of the company’s long-term targets all in mind as the foremost goal.
Indeed, as Chairman and CEO Ed Zander has said, “Today, Motorola serves the right markets with the right assets, brand, and intellectual property. Yet these markets are highly competitive and subject to rapid change. We are committed to meeting the challenges ahead, making the right investments, and executing more consistently while increasing our profitability and shareholder value.” (2006 Annual Report of Motorola, Inc.) That, in a nutshell, is capital budgeting.
However, capital budgeting - just like any other decision-making that forms part of managing a company, its people and resources - is influenced by a person who stands to wield the power and who happens to be in a position to make things happen as he wants. Therefore, changes in the strategies and styles applied in the management, planning and capital budgeting for Motorola are bound to take place. On December 3, 2007, Bloomberg News announced that Mr. Greg Brown was taking over the top spot at Motorola. Mr. Brown boasts of 25 years in the technology industry and a resume stacked with operations expertise. (Ville Heiskanen.Motorola Investors Say Brown May Not Restore Cachet; The Bloomberg News. December 3, 2007 Issue) Mr. Brown’s tenure as chairman and CEO will start in January 2008.
Special Report: The Global 2000.
Forbes Magazine, March 2007 Issue 2006 Annual Report of Motorola, Inc.
Company website of Motorola, Inc. (www.motorola.com)
The Assicoated Press. Motorola to Buy Rival of Blackberry. The New York Times, November 11, 2006 Issue.
Helft, . and J. Markoff. Google Enters the Wireless World. The New York Times, November 6, 2006 Issue.
Miller, S. Headset Kills the Noise for Both Sides of the Conversation. The New York Times, December 6, 2007 Issue.
Heiskanen, V. Investors Say Brown May Not Restore Cachet. The Bloomberg News, December 3, 2007 Issue)
Archives of News Releases of Motorola, Inc.
Project II: FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF MOTOROLA
As stated in the company website, with operations worldwide, Motorola maintains manufacturing, sales and administrative facilities in dozens of locations. The Global Headquarters of the company is located at 1303 East Algonquin Road, Schaumburg, Illinois, USA. Then it has offices in different countries all over the world: Canada in North America; Argentina, Brazil and Mexico in Latin America; Australia, People’s Republic of China, Hongkong SAR, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan in Asia Pacific; Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in Europe, Middle East and Africa. (The Motorola, Inc. company website) Given all these locations with the company’s operations already established therein, Motorola’s world presence is relatively more popular by the average mobile phone user as compared to other brands.
The company’s timeline is a thing to behold, pning 79 years from 1928. The company’s website relates that since that year of inception, Motorola has been committed to innovation in communications and electronics. Motorola has achieved many milestones in its 79-year history. They pioneered mobile communications in the 1930s with car radios and public safety networks. They made the equipment that carried the first words from the moon in 1969. They led the communications revolution with the first commercial handheld cellular phone in 1983 and the first all-digital high-definition television (HDTV) technical standard in 1990. Today, as a global industry leader, excellence in innovation continues to shape the future of the Motorola brand. (The Motorola, Inc. company website) There is a lot Motorola can do given the edge they enjoy as the pioneer in the industry. The goodwill of the company name, in itself, can go a long way. Indeed, Motorola still has a special place in the public’s perception and mind, even at these times when other big names have surfaced in the market – Nokia, Erickson, Samsung, Philips, and others.
The year 2006 was a year of progress and challenges for Motorola. It was a year in which they achieved new highs in sales and shipments and added substantial talent and intellectual property. However, while their Networks & Enterprise and Connected Home Solutions businesses finished 2006 strong, the company top management were disappointed that their Mobile Devices business did not meet expectations in the latter half of the year. (2006 Annual Report of Motorola, Inc.) This observation was echoed by the company chairman and CEO, Mr. Zander, is a number of his public statements issued during meetings with stock market analysts and worried, concerned stockholders.
In 2006, Motorola’s sales grew 22% to a record $42.9 billion – the third consecutive year of double-digit revenue growth. Net earnings were $3.7 billion, or 8.5% of sales. The company generated operating cash flow of $3.5 billion, and maintained a strong balance sheet. They shipped a record 217 million handsets, had a record year in public safety, and a record year in digital entertainment devices. (2006 Annual Report of Motorola, Inc.) In 2006, though the net income figures fell short of the expectations and projections drawn by the company management, it remains that the bottom figure for the 2006 operations was positive – a net income of $3.6 billion.
Also during the year 2006, Motorola sharpened its focus on its core markets by divesting its automotive electronics business and merging its networks and public safety businesses. (2006 Annual Report of Motorola, Inc.) The company’s 2006 financial statements would show that they did sell and discontinue this specified segment of business, earning $400 million from the sale. This move to sell such segment gives the investors and the public the signal that Motorola means to strengthen its grip in its core business - wireless and broadband communications technology and services – before their coveted place in the industry as the leading pioneer becomes compromised.
Motorola completed a $4 billion common stock repurchase program and authorized another program to repurchase an additional $4.5 billion. The company shareholders increased their dividend by 25 percent. The company has now paid its shareholders a dividend for 239 consecutive quarters. (2006 Annual Report of Motorola, Inc.) This move to buy back shares from the stock market shows the current management’s confidence in the company and their ability to bring back the financially abundant years that it used to enjoy. On the other hand, it can as well signal that the present majority stockholders want to safekeep their ownership of the majority by making available in the open market only a small percentage of the total common stocks issued by Motorola.
Motorola’s common stock is listed on the New York and Chicago Stock Exchanges. The number of stockholders of record of the company common stock on January 31, 2007 was 75,892. (2006 Annual Report of Motorola, Inc.) Even with the less attractive returns that Motorola presently offers as compared to those they reported in the past, investors will remain to have Motorola in their lists of favorite shares. Thus, year-on-year the market value of the stock continues to increase – it does not seem to matter if the prevailing earnings per share were in some years very low, like in the year 2004 when the earnings per share computer was only $0.62. Thus, it goes to show that more than the fundamental financial hard facts about Motorola, the non-financial advantages its shares represent are equally valued by the investors.
The following is the computation of the profitability ratios for the operations during the years 2004, 2005 and 2006 of Motorola Inc.:
(in millions, and in US $, except share amounts)
Cost of Sales
Gross Profit (GP)
Operating and Admin Costs, interest and tax
Net Profit (NP)
GP Margin Ratio (%)
NP Margin Ratio (%)
Average number of common shares used in calculation
Earnings per Share
Fiscal Year-end Closing Market Price
Cash Dividends per Share
Source (except for the ratios and market prices): The 2006 Annual Report of Motorola Inc.
Market prices were taken from Yahoo! Finance website
Though the sales grew year on year, it is shown by the resulting gross profit and net profit ratios that the rate of increase of the cost of sales turned out to be greater. Motorola has to keep a tight rein in its costs. The top management people seem to have realized this, as proven by concrete cost-cutting measures that they have started to undertake.
In May 2007, Motorola announced that it will cut another 4,000 jobs, or more than 6% of its shrinking work force, as part of a plan to improve sagging financial and operational results. With the latest round of cuts, the company has announced plans to eliminate more than 10 percent of its work force since the start of 2007, when it became clear that two years of strong momentum behind the popular Razr mobile phone had collapsed. The company has been in the process of eliminating 3,500 jobs as part of a two-year-cost-cutting plan to save $400 million. Motorola said the newly announced cuts, together with other cost-control measures, would save another $600 million in 2008. (The Associated Press. Motorola Says It Will Eliminate 4,000 More Jobs. The New York Times, May 31, 2007) Sometimes, in the lives of corporations – even giants like Motorola – desperate times call for desperate measures.
The management will have to continue getting their heads together to change the course of financial direction of the company. According to an article in The New York Times on July 20, 2007, Motorola reported a second straight quarterly loss after another quarter of subpar sales. The latest deficit, $28 million, raises pressure on the company and its chief executive, Edward J. Zander. The company promised financial improvement in its cellphone division in the second half but steered clear of estimates after weak international sales contributed to back-to-back losses for the first time in five years. Its hopes for recovery, put off until next year, hinge on the reception of new phones like the Razr2 and the Z8 that are just being shipped. Mr. Zander, acknowledged that there weren’t many really new “wow” products in Motorola’s portfolio in the first half of 2007. “This certainly has been a very difficult year,” he told analysts on a conference call. He said several areas of improvement in the quarter provide the basis for a second-half financial pick-up: a decline in inventory channels and gross margins, a higher average selling price, a lower cost structure and the recent flurry of new products.( The Associated Press. Motorola Posts $28 Million Loss After Drop in Sales. The New York Times, July 20, 2007) This show of support for the company’s belt-tightening measures was received well by the investing public. Amid the uncertainly prevailing in the stock market regarding how to rate Motorola, the stock price reportedly increased the day Mr. Zander made this statement for the public to know.
Motorola received orders worth $394 million to supply network equipment to China Mobile Communications Corporation next year in the first half; Motorola will supply equipment based on a technology known as global system mobile communications, the companies said. China Mobile will use the equipment to expand its network, which ps 16 Chinese provinces and municipalities. (Bloomberg News. World Business Briefing; China: Motorola Receives Mobile Phone Order. The New York Times, August 14, 2007) More of good news like this to be heard of Motorola, with all of them verifiable as true and accurate, and Motorola can indeed be back on its feet
Fortunately for Motorola, there are many other good developments that took place in the same year 2007 to somehow lessen the adverse impact brought about by the net losses incurred by this year’s operations. On December 12, 2007, there was a PR Newswire – Press Release published whose title went, “Motorola Celebrates Shipment of 50 Million SURFboard ® Cable and Digital Voice Modems.” Truly, this was a significant milestone that further strengthened Motorola’s leadership position in global modem deployments as well as retail cable modem shipments. In the same article, Alan Lefkof, corporate vice president of the Motorola Broadband Solutions Group, said, “For the last decade, Motorola has brought its proven experience and expertise to help further the development of the DOCSIS® standards. As the leading provider of modems, we are in a strategic position to offer the most advanced, standards-based cable and digital voice modem features to our customers. We’re excited about the opportunities we’ll have around DOCSIS 3.0 in 2008.” (PR Newswire-Press Release. Motorola Celebrates Shipment of 50 Million SURFboard ® Cable and Digital Voice Modems, December 12, 2007. Forbes Website) Thus, Motorola will hopefully end the year 2007 with more reasons for optimism and positive projections by the business and investment world.
All companies, economies and nations go through happy times and sad ones, prosperous days and lean ones. Through it all, those with what it takes to survive really make it past the trial-filled times and life to see great years again.
Motorola is one such company.
2006 Annual Report of Motorola, Inc.
Company website of Motorola, Inc. (www.motorola.com)
The Associated Press. Motorola Says It Will Eliminate 4,000 More Jobs. The New York Times, May 31, 2007
The Associated Press. Motorola Posts $28 Million Loss After Drop in Sales. The New York Times, July 20, 2007
Bloomberg News. World Business Briefing; China: Motorola Receives Mobile Phone Order. The New York Times, August 14, 2007
PR Newswire-Press Release. Motorola Celebrates Shipment of 50 Million SURFboard ® Cable and Digital Voice Modems, December 12, 2007. Forbes Website.
Archives of News Releases of Motorola, Inc.
Project III: CAPITAL BUDGETING AND THE COMPANY’S STOCK PRICE
Motorola Inc. is among the companies listed in the New York Stock Exchange. As such, shares of the company have been offered to the public for ownership and are presently traded in the bourse. To be able to make a wise decision as to whether or not a prospective investor should buy into Motorola Inc., sufficient information regarding their financial condition, operational well-being and even the quality of leadership will have to be available and then looked into.
With the shares of Motorola Inc. being currently traded in the stock market, present and prospective investors have to monitor the state of things, the rate of growth and the progress and prospects of the company. Thus, it is not surprising that Motorola is among the companies keenly covered by publications that cater to the business and finance sectors, like the Wall Street Journal.
This paper includes eight of the many articles written about Motorola that found their way to being published in the Wall Street Journal. These articles provide valuable information and hopefully were accessed by the investors at the right time, and not when it was too late to be among the first to know – the utmost “must” in the bustling world of finance and investments. Indeed, it pays well to be updated as to what is going on.
One of the articles says that signs are growing that Motorola top management may be contemplating a breakup in the wake of the collapse in popularity of its Razr cellphone. (Sara Silver. Is Motorola Worth More If It Gets Busted Up? Wall Street Journal Website, December 13, 2007) The company is living on the Tazr’s edge these days – Tazr being the one big hit the company vastly benefited from. There have been hints given for Motorola to consider slicing up the company as to segments, but it may not be so easy. This is one capital, ownership and organizational issue to mull over, but as of today, no final decision has been reached on this matter. In fact, it it the first big decision that the incoming chairman and CEO will have to process and make. Closing prices on December 12 and 13, 2007 were $16.19 and $16.22. Slight increase, that was the result of how the market reacted.
True enough, it is cited in another article in the Wall Street Journal. When Motorola Inc. president Greg Brown takes the reins as chief executive come January 2008 as Ed Zander’s successor, his top priority is sure to be trying to fix the telecom company’s troubled handset division. But there is yet another issue he may also have to weigh: whether to bow to calls from some investors to break up the storied telecommunication equipment-maker. That could include spinning off the company’s sagging networks business to better focus resources on handsets, which generate about half of the company’s $39 billion is annual sales.
While Mr. Brown publicly has given no indication that he’s willing to consider a breakup, declining to comment about such a move, he is seen on Wall Street as more of a dealmaker than Mr. Zander. And with Motorola stock down over the past months, Mr. Brown is likely to face heavy pressure to try something radical to get the stock up. Private equity firms have approached the company regularly through the years about buying the company or parts of it, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Zander’s sudden resignation, after four years on the job, closes a chapter of Motorola that was marked by the rapid rise of the company on the back of its hit phone Razr, followed by a similarly fast decline as Motorola failed to follow up on its success. Those troubles prompted a departure of high-level executives, a sagging stock price, a bitter proxy battle and a retrenchment overseas. While it is uncertain how much will change with Mr. Brown in charge – he was Mr. Zander’s choice for successor – it is clear that the company will need to step up efforts to begin to reclaim lost ground to Nokia Corp., the world’s No. 1 handset maker by market share. (Sara Silver, Li Yuan, Joann Lublin and Christopher Rhoads. Motorola Has Tall Repair Order. Wall Street Journal Website, December 1, 2007.)
The closing prices last November 30 and December 3 (December 1 being a Saturday) were $15.97 and $15.43. This shows that the market did not appreciate much this development as published in the news on December 1, 2007.
While nothing yet has actually been finalized in terms of capital budgeting, news like this affect greatly the investment environment for Motorola – the stock market, as expected, reacts accordingly to such developments.
Meanwhile, a federal appeals court upheld a $1 billion punitive damage award against members of Turkey’s Uzan family in a case in which Motorola Inc. alleged massive fraud regarding loans to Telsim Mobil Telekomunikasyon Hizmetleri AS, a Turkish cellphone operator. (Chad Bray. Court Upholds Damages of $1 Billion to Motorola. Wall Street Journal Website, November 23, 2007) An information bit like that is sure to affect – for a day or more – the prices of the stock. And in this case, in a positive way. Indeed, the stock market prices turned out to improve because of this news bit. There being no trading last November 22, the closing prices last November 21 and 23 were $15.33 and $15.71 – the price increase in the stock market speaks for itself.
There was another article that is about the development of a major capital-related decision and move of Motorola. In such article, it says that Motorola Inc. will buy 50% of UIQ Technology AB, the mobile-software developer owned by Sony Ericsson, the companies said. (A Wall Street Journal News Roundup. Motorola Deal Seen As Challenge To Nokia. Wall Street Journal Website, October 16, 2007) This is a capital-budgeting item way before these statements were officially said by the company representatives. News like this one is expected to result to an increase in the market price of the stock. However, the opposite happened. Closing prices last October 15 and 16 were $19.34 and $19.16. Somehow, the significance of this equity purchase must have been not outrightly appreciated by the market.
Motorola said it bid $108 million for 80% of Japan’s Vertex Standard Co., a provider of two-way-radio-communications solutions. Motorola also will form a joint venture with Tokogiken, a company comtrolled by Vertex President and Chief Executive Jun Hasegawa,which will hold the other 20% of Vertex. Vertex Standards’s board approved the terms of $19.28 a share, Motorola said. (A Wall Street Journal News Roundup. Motorola To Buy Vertex Standard. Wall Street Journal Website, November 6, 2007) Another capital budgeting-related move of the company this stands to be. Closing prices last November 5 and 6 were $17.71 and $17.74. The news was taken well by the investing market, but not to a significant degree.
With the deteriorating profit performance of Motorola Inc. during these recent years, Motorola has seen fit to concentrate on its core cellphone business. With this decision, Motorola has agreed to sell its embedded communications computing business to Emerson Electric Co. for $350 million, shredding 1,100 jobs in the process. (Mike Barris. Motorola Sells Unit for $350 Million. Wall Street Journal Website, October 2, 2007) This capital budgeting item, which is seen to bring in fresh cash into the company’s coffers, was taken well by the market and resulted to market price increases during those days right after such announcement was made. Focus is seen to be what’s needed to put Motorola’s operating results back to great figures.
In another news, activist investor Carl Icahn renewed a call for Motorola Inc. to split itself up in the wake of the company’s 94% drop in third-quarter net profit. Despite the sharp decline reported yesterday, Wall Street analysts were relieved by the results, which contrasted with a loss earlier this year. Motorola shares rose 75 cents, or 4%, to $19.30 at the New York Stock Exchange that day. (Sara Silver and Roger Cheng. Motorola Profit Falls 94%, And Icahn Puts On Pressure. Wall Street Journal Website, October 26, 2007) News items like this one served to divide the reaction of the bourse. While on one hand, there was relief about the financial picture for the year being not as bad as projected, there as well was a considerable amount of support for Mr. Icahn’s recommendation – this rather made Motorola seem unstable.
Motorola Inc. expects to record a total pretax charge of $122 million in the third quarter from restructuring actions. Of the charge, $83 million is for severance costs for 1,000 employees, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Most of the affected employees are in Germany. The $39 million is for fixed-asset impairments, Motorola said. The $122 million charge is in addition to the $221 million in charges the Schaumburg, Illinois company took in the first half, representing severance costs for about 4,100 employees. (A Wall Street Journal News Roundup. Motorola Expects Charge For Job Cuts, Impairment. Wall Street Journal Website, October 4, 2007). This is another bad news which should not have much effect on the investors’ perception – but it did have an adverse effect. Though it was a foregone thing that these things will naturally follow the downsizing of work force, it nonetheless had an impact when actually brought up in the news.
News will always have an effect on the price market prices of publicly listed companies. Thus, it is important that should there be bad news, the listed company be prepared to air out some good news to cushion the blow. But the best thing to do is to work on being transparent. Companies do well by operating profitably and reporting to government agencies accurate and positive figures. Working on such non-financial matters as image and goodwill will also go a long way – this is one irrefutable fact that can go a long way.
2006 Annual Report of Motorola, Inc.
Company website of Motorola, Inc. (www.motorola.com)
Sara Silver. Is Motorola Worth More If It Gets Busted Up? Wall Street Journal Website (online.wsj.com), December 13, 2007
Sara Silver, Li Yuan, Joann Lublin and Christopher Rhoads. Motorola Has Tall Repair Order. Wall Street Journal Website (online.wsj.com), December 1, 2007
Chad Bray. Court Upholds Damages of $1 Billion to Motorola. Wall Street Journal Website (online.wsj.com), November 23, 2007
A Wall Street Journal News Roundup. Motorola Deal Seen As Challenge To Nokia. Wall Street Journal Website (online.wsj.com), October 16, 2007
A Wall Street Journal News Roundup. Motorola To Buy Vertex Standard. Wall Street Journal Website (online.wsj.com), November 6, 2007
Mike Barris. Motorola Sells Unit for $350 Million. Wall Street Journal Website (online.wsj.com), October 2, 2007
Sara Silver and Roger Cheng. Motorola Profit Falls 94%, And Icahn Puts On Pressure. Wall Street Journal Website (online.wsj.com), October 26, 2007
A Wall Street Journal News Roundup. Motorola Expects Charge For Job Cuts, Impairment. Wall Street Journal Website (online.wsj.com), October 4, 2007
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