Motorola Inc issued better-than-expected third-quarter results and an upbeat forecast, rushing out its earnings report early to counter a Moody's downgrade of its debt and concern about its future. \nThe company announced Monday a US$116 million profit and cited a boom in orders for new cellphones as evidence its stuttering recovery remains on track despite a pending leadership change and Wall Street's skepticism. \nSales -- a figure watched closely as a barometer of its health -- rose 5 percent instead of falling as many industry experts had predicted. \nEven its money-losing semiconductor business, which the company said last week it intends to spin off, picked up more orders in a modest recovery that could stir up more interest among prospective buyers. \nNet earnings for the three months ended Sept. 27 amounted to US$0.05 a share, compared with a gain of US$111 million, or US$0.05 a share, for the same period last year. Excluding US$16 million in special charges, earnings were US$132 million or US$0.06 per share -- US$0.03 higher than the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call. \nRevenues climbed to US$6.83 billion from US$6.53 billion, thanks partly to an 8 percent jump at its No. 1 business unit, mobile phones, which totaled US$2.9 billion. \nThe Schaumburg, Illinois-based company increased its guidance for fourth-quarter sales to between US$7.5 billion and US$7.8 billion, up from US$7.4 billion. \n"We are now seeing early results from the decisive actions taken in a very difficult telecom and semiconductor global environment over the last three years," said president and chief operating officer Mike Zafirovski. \nMotorola had scheduled its earnings report to be released yesterday after the close of trading. It decided instead to issue them before the stock market opened Monday as a result of the downgrade of its debt late Friday by Moody's to one step above junk status. \nMoody's said it made the downgrade in light of "the weakened outlook for most of Motorola's business segments" and expected changes after the resignation of chairman and CEO Christopher Galvin, who is staying on until a successor is named. \nBut company officials strongly disagreed with that characterization, and Zafirovski, who is a candidate to replace Galvin, said the third quarter "signals some positive momentum in key aspects of our business." \nMost notably, orders rose 25 percent from a year earlier -- including 44 percent for its cellphone business, to US$3.7 billion. While declining market share in China caused a drop in operating earnings for the phone unit -- to US$165 million from US$225 million -- the company cited strengthened demand in North America and elsewhere. \nZafirovski acknowledged to analysts that the company has been slow to come to market with some of its camera phones. Competitors have gotten a significant head start with that item, one of the hottest new consumer electronics products. \n"We wish we'd have had more camera phones earlier in the year," he said on an afternoon conference call. "But they will be 50 percent of our portfolio in Q4." \nCompany executives also maintained that Motorola is in strong position to repay its debt that matures in 2005 despite concerns voiced by Moody's and others. Galvin called it one of the strongest quarters in its 75-year history, emphasizing a strengthened financial situation. \n"Not since 1983, 20 years ago, has Motorola had such a strong balance sheet," he said. "This is not by chance. We generated US$1.1 billion of positive operating cash flow this quarter."
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
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Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo