- Associated Press - Thursday, January 27, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Motorola Solutions Inc., the company formed after Motorola Inc. recently split in two, said Thursday its fourth-quarter results improved, thanks to resilience in both its government and corporate business as demand for its police radios and bar code scanners remained strong.

The company said net income for the former Motorola Inc. rose to $293 million, or 86 cents per share, for the three months ended in December. That’s up from $142 million, or 43 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings were 95 cents per share, better than the 92 cents that analysts polled by Factset were expecting. These figures exclude costs related to Motorola’s separation, as well as stock compensation expenses, a gain from a legal settlement and other items.

Revenue rose to $5.66 billion from $4.79 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected $4.2 billion.

Adjusted earnings were 95 cents per share, better than the 92 cents that analysts polled by Factset were expecting. These figures exclude costs related to Motorola’s separation, as well as stock compensation expenses, a gain from a legal settlement and other items.

The standalone Motorola Solutions posted a 12 percent jump in operating earnings _ which assumes the split has already been in place last year _ to $279 million from $250 million in the same period a year earlier.

On this basis, sales grew 13 percent to $2.25 billion from $1.98 million a year earlier.

The operating results count the former Motorola Inc.’s enterprise mobility unit that formed Motorola Solutions, and don’t include the its cell phone business, which reported a fourth-quarter profit Wednesday but gave a weaker-than-expected forecast for the current period.

Citi Investment Research analyst Jim Suva called the overall results “solid” and noted that there are no consensus estimates from Wall Street analysts as of yet for the standalone Motorola Solutions.

Sales to government clients grew 9 percent from the year-ago quarter, to $1.5 billion. CEO Greg Brown said in a conference call the improvement demonstrates “the prioritization and resilience of public safety spending.”

Sales to big corporations, or enterprise revenue, grew 23 percent to $772 million.

Brown told the Associated Press the standalone Motorola Solutions is in a better position now than it was as part of the larger company.

“Part of the benefit of being independent operationally focused company is that we wake up every day thinking about driving and improving Motorola Solutions,” he said.

Motorola Solutions expects first-quarter earnings of 29 cents to 34 cents per share and it is forecasting sequential revenue growth of 3 percent to 4 percent. This forecast excludes the cell phone business as well as the portion of Motorola’s networks business that is being acquired by Nokia Siemens Networks in the current quarter.

For all of 2010, Motorola Solutions, assuming it had been a separate company, said its operating profit rose 36 percent to $778 million from $570 million. Sales jumped 10 percent to $7.87 billion from $7.18 billion. Sales in the government business accounted for 65 percent of the year’s revenue.

Brown said the company expects to cut jobs as well as hire new workers this year, but he did not give specific numbers.

“Clearly the majority of headcount reductions are largely behind us,” he said.

Shares of Motorola Solutions slipped 24 cents to $39 in late morning trading.

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