Bloomberg News

Motorola Sees $5 Billion Emergency Airwaves Market

March 12, 2012

(Corrects full-year sales outlook in sixth paragraph of story published March 9.)

Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI), a supplier of walkie-talkies to firefighters and police, sees a sales opportunity in U.S. airwaves being opened for use by emergency workers, Chief Executive Officer Greg Brown said.

“It’s a $5 billion market and we’re well-positioned to pursue” the so-called D Block spectrum during the next five years, Brown said in a telephone interview today. “We expect to win more than we lose.”

Congress allocated the D Block for use by police and firefighters last month and dedicated $7 billion to design and build a nationwide digital network for emergency workers. Motorola Solutions in the past 18 months already won municipal contracts to build and supply digital emergency networks in California, Texas and Mississippi on other spectrum, and those will begin to generate “material” revenue in 2014, Brown said.

The company, based in Schaumburg, Illinois, wants to use its expertise in building walkie-talkies and emergency networks into more business as local governments overhaul older analog safety networks and switch to faster digital LTE, or long-term evolution, technology.

Motorola Solutions’ revenue from governments last year climbed 6.1 percent to $5.36 billion, while sales of bar-code scanners and other radio-based equipment to retailers increased 11 percent to $2.85 billion.

Total sales for 2011 gained 7.7 percent to $8.2 billion. The company expects revenue growth of 5 percent this year, which may rise to as much as 8 percent annually in 2013 and 2014, said Chief Financial Officer Ed Fitzpatrick, who also participated in the interview.

Stock Buyback

The company has completed $2.5 billion of a planned $3 billion share buyback and will continue to return money to stockholders through repurchases or dividends, Fitzpatrick said. As part of the buyback, Motorola Solutions last month purchased $1.17 billion of shares from billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

Motorola Solutions was formed in January 2011 from the former Motorola Inc., after four years of pressure from Icahn. Motorola Inc.’s mobile-phone business at that time was spun off as Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) In August, Google Inc. (GOOG) agreed to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.

Motorola Solutions fell 2 percent to $50.74 at the close in New York. Since Jan. 3, 2011, the day before the split, the shares have gained 36 percent while Motorola Mobility has risen 31 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net


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