May 6, 2015 / 12:32 PM / in 3 years

Lower costs help Motorola Solutions beat profit estimates

(Reuters) - Motorola Solutions Inc, a maker of walkie-talkies and radio systems, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong demand in North America and lower operating expenses.

Cost cuts and a stronger dollar led to a $60 million decline in its operating expenses in the fist quarter ended April 4, Motorola Solutions said on Wednesday.

The dollar has surged about 20 percent in the past year against a basket of major currencies.

Motorola Solutions said in February that it managed to cut its operating expenses by more than $200 million by the end of 2014 and expected further savings of about $150 million this year.

Revenue from North America, from where Motorola Solutions get about 60 percent of its revenue, increased 6 percent. Total revenue was marginally down at $1.22 billion — slightly above the average analyst estimate of $1.19 billion.

Net income from continuing operations attributable to Motorola Solutions rose to $87 million, or 40 cents per share, in the first quarter ended April 4, from $85 million, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 38 cents per share, much ahead of the 25 cents analysts expected.

Motorola Solutions forecast a 3-5 percent fall in sales for the second quarter.

The company’s dependence on government spending has increased after it sold its enterprise business to Zebra Technologies Corp last year.

Bloomberg had reported in April that Motorola Solutions failed to find a buyer after seeking to drum up interest from private-equity funds and large industrial companies.

Motorola Solutions shares have fallen about 12.7 percent this year through Tuesday’s close.

Reporting by Arathy S Nair and Abhirup Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das; Editing by Joyjeet Das

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