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Motorola (MSI) Q1 Earnings & Revenues Top; Q2 View Dull

Motorola Solutions Inc.’s MSI first-quarter 2016 earnings per share (including stock-based compensation expense) of $0.42 per share comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.33. Also, earnings improved 31.25% from the year-ago figure, thanks to a significant reduction in costs.

On the other hand, quarterly revenues declined 2% from the year-ago quarter to $1,193 million but narrowly beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,176 million. The top line was impacted by foreign currency movements to the tune of $22 million. North America sales grew 2% on the back of impressive Products and Services sales. Sales in Europe and Latin America were particularly disappointing and were primarily responsible for the 7.4% decline in product sales to $702 million in the quarter under review. Operating margin (on an adjusted basis) came in at 13.9% in the quarter, compared with 12.8% a year ago.

Services revenues totaled $491 million, up 5.6% year over year. The inclusion of products of the recently acquired Airwave Solutions apart from impressive growth witnessed in Managed & Support services led to the growth. The Managed & Support services unit witnessed a growth of 30% (6% excluding the impact of the Airwave acquisition).

Motorola Solutions generated $13 million of cash from operations in first-quarter of 2016. At the end of the quarter under review, Motorola Solutions had $1,940 million in cash and cash equivalents, almost flat sequentially. Long-term debt, at the end of the quarter, was $5,023 million compared with $4,345 million at the end of 2015. The company returned $135 million to shareholders through buybacks ($64 million) and dividend payments ($71 million) in the first quarter of 2016.

Outlook

Motorola Solutions expects revenues in the second quarter of 2016 to improve in the range of 1% to 3% on a year-over-year basis. The recently completed acquisition of Airwave Solutions is projected to boost second-quarter revenues by about $130 million. Adjusted earnings per share in the second quarter are projected in the band of 82 cents to 88 cents. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of 90 cents is above the guided range. The below-par guidance has disappointed investors, leading to a decline in the stock price in after-market trading on May 5.

For 2016, the top line is still projected to grow in the band of 5% to 7%. The recently completed acquisition of Airwave Solutions is likely to boost full-year revenues by approximately $450 million. Earnings per share (on an adjusted basis) in 2016 are still expected in the range of $4.45 to $4.65. The Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.25 per share lies below the guidance.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Motorola Solutions currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the broader computer & technology sector include Microchip Technology Inc. MCHP, Facebook, Inc. FB and PerkinElmer Inc. PKI. Facebook sports a Zacks Rank# 1 (Strong Buy) while Microchip Technology and PerkinElmer carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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