Motorola files another small profit in fourth quarter

Moto appears to be continuing its long, arduous road toward recovery on news of its financial results for the fourth quarter of '09 -- or, at the very least, it's not losing any ground. Overall, the company posted a meager profit of $142 million for the quarter on revenue of $5.723 billion, $14 million better than a quarter prior and a staggering $3.799 billion better than the same quarter a year ago. Breaking it down by division, Mobile Devices is still in the red, but not by terribly much -- it did $1.8 billion in sales with an operating loss of $132 million, while Home and Networks Mobility (the guys responsible for wireless infrastructure and set-top boxes) made $91 million on sales of $2 billion. Some 12 million handsets were shipped in the quarter alongside 3.4 million set-tops; that marks a downtick of 1.4 million phones from the third quarter, but as the company shifts focus to smartphones, it makes sense that would happen to a certain extent -- provided the company can keep margins high. The company expects to lose somewhere between 1 and 3 cents per share in the first quarter of 2010, so the recovery isn't complete yet -- but stemming the bleeding was an important first step.