Motorola Mobility's Set-Top Shipments Jump 24% In Q1

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Motorola Mobility, reporting its first quarterly results as an independent entity, had good news on the Home front as the video and broadband segment's shipments of set-tops were up 24% for the first three months of 2011 over last year.

The Home segment's net revenue was $904 million for the quarter ended April 2, 2011, up 8% compared with the year-ago quarter (but down from $1.025 billion in the first quarter of 2009). The unit's operating earnings more than doubled to $53 million versus $20 million in the year-ago quarter.

The company didn't announce the number of set-tops it shipped in the most recent quarter. In the first quarter of 2010, Motorola had shipped 3.1 million digital entertainment devices.

For the first quarter of 2011, while set-top unit shipments were up 24% year-over-year, revenue increased by 11% because of lower average selling price, Motorola Mobility said in its 10-Q.

Revenue from HD set-top boxes "increased significantly, primarily due to higher shipments to large telecommunication and cable operators in North America as a result of higher demand," the company said in the filing, partially offset by a decrease in standard-definition set-top boxes.

Motorola Mobility's strong showing in set-tops stands in contrast to that of rival Cisco Systems, whose sales of cable set-tops dropped 29% year over year for the three months ended Jan. 29 after falling 40% among North American cable operators the previous quarter.

Overall, Motorola Mobility reported $3.0 billion in net revenue -- up 22% compared with the first quarter of 2010 -- with a net loss in the first quarter of 2011 of $81 million, or $0.27 per share, compared with a loss of $212 million, or $0.72 per share, in the first quarter of 2010.

The resurgent Mobile Devices group drove top-line growth. The unit, with strong sales of smartphones, had first-quarter revenue of $2.1 billion, up 30% year over year, and an operating loss of $89 million (compared with an operating loss of $192 million in the year-ago quarter).

The company shipped a total of 9.3 million mobile devices, including 4.1 million smartphones and more than 250,000 Motorola Xoom tablets. That's compared with Q1 2010, when it shipped 8.5 million mobile devices, including 2.3 million smartphones.

"In the first quarter, we reached a major milestone in our history by becoming a new independent, public company. We enhanced our product portfolio by delivering compelling experiences with the launch of Motorola Atrix and Motorola Xoom, as well as offering unique end-to-end video solutions for the home," Motorola Mobility chairman and CEO Sanjay Jha said in a statement. "With a well-recognized brand, a strong balance sheet and industry leading intellectual property, we have the right assets to deliver an exciting pipeline of products, continue to grow our business and further improve our financial results."

For the second quarter, Motorola Mobility expects the Home segment revenue and operating margin to be comparable with the first quarter of 2011. Overall, the company expects net earnings of breakeven to $35 million and net earnings per share of $0.00 to $0.12.

On Jan. 4, 2011, Motorola Inc. officially split into two entities -- Motorola Mobility Inc. and Motorola Solutions, comprising the enterprise, government and public safety business units.

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