Wall St. is expecting Motorola (NYSE: MOT) to sell about 32 million handsets this quarter. Oppenheimer has cut its rating on the company to "perform" from "outperform" and says that unit sales will probably be closer to 28 million.
The news would seem to make Motorola’s most difficult situation worse. It has been trying to shop the handset unit for several weeks. The most likely buyers, which would include Samsung, LG, and Sony Ericsson, don’t seem to have any interest.
Without any buyers for the division, if Motorola misses forecasts for Q1, the stock could easily fall below its 52-week low of $9.43.
Douglas A. McIntyre