Motorola earnings up 48 percent

/ Source: The Associated Press

Motorola Inc., the world's second-largest maker of cellular phones, posted a 48 percent jump in second-quarter earnings Wednesday on the strength of record handset sales and shipments that far outpaced Wall Street's expectations.

The company's shipments of 51.9 million cell phones in the quarter demonstrated continuing heavy demand for its Razr line of phones, which Motorola said had helped lift its global market share to 22 percent — highest since the 1990s.

Net income was $1.38 billion, or 55 cents per share, up from $933 million, or 37 cents per share, a year earlier. That walloped the estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, who had pegged earnings at 31 cents a share based on the company's most recent guidance.

Revenue was $10.9 billion, up 29 percent from $8.4 billion a year ago and well above the $10.3 billion projected by analysts.

The trendy Razr has helped Motorola shed a reputation it had for years as a stodgy underperformer and enabled it to narrow the gap somewhat on Finland's Nokia Corp., the world market-share leader. Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola said Tuesday that it had shipped its 50 millionth Razr since the ultra-slim handset's introduction in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Shares in the company rose a penny in after-hours trading after closing up 37 cents at $19.25 on the New York Stock Exchange during the regular trading session. The stock is down 15 percent this year after rising 31 percent in 2005.