News Column

Motorola Solutions, Zebra Technologies report 2nd-qtr earnings

August 5, 2014

By Ellen Jean Hirst, Chicago Tribune

Aug. 05--Lincolnshire-based Zebra Technologies said its earnings slipped 10 percent despite higher sales in an eventful second-quarter in which it agreed to buy Motorola Solutions' enterprise unit.

Earnings were crimped due to $20.4 million in acquisition expenses related to the pending deal with Motorola, announced on April 15. Zebra will buy the enterprise unit for $3.45 billion.

Sales in the quarter rose 14 pecent to $288.4 million, up from $253.1 million a year ago and beating analysts' expectations.

Zebra also said last week that its radio frequency identification technology will eventually be installed in every professional football stadium in the U.S. to measure football players' movements in real time.

"During the second quarter, we made good progress on integration planning for the pending acquisition of Motorola's Enterprise business," said Anders Gustafsson, Zebra's chief executive. "We remain enthusiastic about the compelling strategy supporting the transaction. The combination of the businesses will make Zebra the industry leader in Asset Enterprise Intelligence, and position the company to increasingly benefit from important trends in mobility, cloud computing and data analytics."

Motorola Solutions also posted earnings on Tuesday, to a slightly different tune.

Earnings per share were below analysts' expectations at 30 cents per share.

Sales were down 7 percent, to $1.4 billion, missing expectations. Sales in North America and in Asia Pacific and the Middle East fell, while sales in Europe and Africa and Latin America grew.

After selling its enterprise unit, which will reduce its numbers further from 20,000 to 15,000, company officials have said the company will focus on its government and public safety unit, what they said has always been the core of the business.

A previously announced cost-reduction goal of $200 million -- the cause for recent layoffs -- was increased to $300 million by the end of 2015. That could come in the form of layoffs and selling property at the company's Schaumburg headquarters.

Motorola Solutions' stock was down $4.11 to $60 in pre-market trading.

"We made significant progress toward simplifying our operations and accelerating our cost reduction efforts," said Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions. "We believe our continued focus on execution, targeted investments and capital return positions us well to grow and create long-term value for our shareholders."

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Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)

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