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Motorola Mobility 1Q Loss Widens On Merger-Related Costs, Revenue Up

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.'s (MMI) first-quarter loss widened as merger-related costs weighed on bottom-line results, though revenue improved. Last year, predecessor Motorola Inc. split its smartphone and set-top box businesses from its mobile and networks operations. Tech heavyweight Google Inc. (GOOG) is now in the midst of buying the smartphone maker and its extensive patent portfolio for roughly $12.5 billion. Last month, China's antitrust agency extended its scrutiny of Google's deal, which has already been cleared by the U.S. Justice Department and European Union. The deal is expected to close during the first half of the year. Motorola Mobility's portfolio has helped the company win two favorable preliminary decisions in recent months from the U.S. International Trade Commission, which ruled against separate patent challenges from Apple Inc. (APPL) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) over some of its smartphone features. In February, Immersion Corp. (IMMR) filed complaints with the ITC alleging that some of Motorola Mobility's Android-based smartphones infringe patents related to its touch-screen technology. Motorola Mobility reported a loss of $86 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $81 million, or 27 cents a share. Excluding merger-related costs, amortization and stock-based compensation, the loss narrowed to 3 cents a share from a year-earlier loss of 8 cents a share. Revenue rose 1.5% to $3.08 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a per-share profit of a penny and revenue of $2.96 billion. Gross margin eased to 24.5% from 24.9%. Revenue increased 3.1% in Motorola's mobile-devices business, though the segment's operating loss widened. The smaller home segment reported sales fell 2.2%, though its profit jumped 28%. Shares closed at $38.76 Tuesday and were unchanged after hours. The stock is up 49% over the past 12 months. -By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com

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