It's hard not to think that Chris Galvin is a victim of bad timing. Though he tried as he might to pull Motorola
Only three months into the job, CEO Edward Zander can hardly lay claim to first-quarter sales of $8.6 billion, up 42% from a year ago, and tripling of profits to $609 million. Nope, the success came largely thanks to Motorola being in the right place at the right time, ready to catch a surge of consumer demand for cellular handsets. Folks have been buying up fancy flip-lid models with built-in digital cameras, and Motorola was ready with the goods. At the same time, much of Motorola's success comes thanks to Nokia's
Motorola's handset sales grabbed the headlines, but the electronics conglomerate has other divisions doing well, too. Semiconductor sales jumped 21% to $1.4 billion, largely as a result of the growing telecom network and wireless market. Motorola's chip business will be spun off shortly as the independent Freescale Semiconductor. The two-way radio business, the car electronics group, and Motorola's cable TV unit all posted decent figures, too.
It looks like Motorola might have its mojo back. But don't get too carried away. The wireless handset market is still up for grabs: Nokia will be fighting hard on price to regain lost share, and Samsung and LG continue to gain ground in the market. Motorola's debt-to-total capital ratio looks quite manageable at 41%, but Standard & Poor's rating on Motorola's debt stands at BBB-, the lowest rung of investment-grade credit.
The booming results drove Motorola's share price up about 24% through this morning, with shares touching a new 52-week high. On a price-to-sales basis, the stock now trades higher than that of industry peers Nortel
Do you think Motorola will be able to keep the good times rolling? Talk about it on the Fool's Motorola discussion board.
Fool contributor Ben McClure hails from the Great White North. Ben doesn't own any shares mentioned here.