Before the open this morning, Motorola announced that it banked a third-quarter profit of $60 million, or 3 cents per share, which is down from its year-ago profit of $968 million, or 39 cents per share. Excluding items, earnings came in at 6 cents per share, which was better than the consensus estimate of 4 cents per share.
Revenue during the 3-month period dropped 17% to $8.8 billion.
During the quarter, the firm reported that it shipped 37.2 million handsets in the quarter. Sales in the mobile-device segment tumbled 36% to $4.5 billion.
The company estimates its market share in the third quarter was at 13%.
Looking ahead, Motorola forecasts fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations in a range of 12 cents to 14 cents a share, excluding charges related to the restructuring. The consensus estimate on the Street stands at 10 cents per share.
Heading into the earnings report, options players were fairly skeptical of the shares. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio comes in at 0.82, which is higher than 99% of those taken during the past 12 months. In other words, short-term options speculators have been more bearishly aligned against the security only 1% of the time during the past 52 weeks.
In fact, the 17 put was the most active option yesterday in the November series, as it added more than 5,000 new positions. On the other hand, the November 18 call was the most active among the bullish bets, as its open interest increased by more than 3,000 new contracts.
Meanwhile, Wall Street continues to give the company the cold shoulder. According to Zacks, Motorola has earned 8 buy ratings, 17 holds, and 2 sell ratings. This bearish configuration leaves ample room for potential upgrades, which could help to buoy the shares.
Technically speaking, the stock are poised to gap higher this morning by roughly 3% after yesterday's 2% pullback. The stock has recently dropped below support at its 10-day and 20-day moving averages, which had carried the shares higher from late August through mid-October. Furthermore, the equity appears to be consolidating into support at its rising 10-week trendline at the 18 level. This intermediate-term moving average climbed above the 20-week trendline, forming a bullish cross. This technical development often signal additional upside for the shares.