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Motorola loses a cool $397M in Q3, delays handset division spinoff

Chris Ziegler

Now that the books have been cooked to a delicious golden brown, Motorola has revealed its third quarter earnings today -- and for consumers and shareholders alike, the news isn't particularly awesome. First off, they've lost $397 million in the quarter, compared with $40 million in net earnings (black ink, not red) in the same quarter a year ago. Secondly, while they've announced today that they plan to develop a full range of Android-powered handsets in 2009, they're not coming quickly; they're expected in the second half of the year at the earliest, and when you factor in the inevitable delays, that could realistically mean 2010 for some of the models. What's more, they've announced a belt-tightening plan to cut $800 million in 2009 expenditures, which will inevitably lead to some morale problems out in Schaumburg (for those who are still employed). Finally -- and we're not sure if this is ultimately good or bad news -- co-CEO Sanjay Jha has decided to hold off on selling the handset division until some time after the third quarter of 2009 due to the "macro-economic environment," which we think is code for "we couldn't give it away right now." Keep fightin', Moto.

Update: How's Moto going to save close to a billion dollars in 2009, you ask? Greg Brown, the other half of Motorola's Ambiguously Executive Duo, mentioned that it'll be trimming 3,000 jobs from the company -- 2,000 of which will be coming from the handset division. We imagine it's pretty hard for company staffers to innovate when there's a constant fear of the chopping block looming overhead.

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