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Motorola Mobility losses bite into Google earnings

Updated: February 24, 2013 6:35AM

Motorola Mobility continued to drag down parent Google’s earnings, as the Libertyville-based Mobility’s losses mounted and revenue dropped in the usually robust fourth quarter.

Motorola Mobility, which is slated to move its 2,800 employees from Libertyville to the Merchandise Mart starting this spring, posted $1.51 billion in revenues, down 40 percent from $2.5 billion a year ago and $1.78 billion in the previous quarter, Google said in its earnings report late Tuesday.

Motorola’s losses stood at $353 million in the fourth quarter, with an operating loss of $152 million. The phone business lost $70 million a year ago with an operating loss of $56 million.

Nevertheless, Google CEO Larry Page told analysts Tuesday “there’s real potential to invent new and better experiences” with Motorola Mobility, offering a hint some experts believe could result in a new mobile device.

For Google overall, analysts responded favorably to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings jump of 7 percent as online advertisers spent more money in pursuit of holiday shoppers. Shares traded up 5 percent in afterhours trading Tuesday.

The recent quarter didn’t provide an apples-to-apples year-to-year comparison because Google didn’t own Motorola Mobility in 2011.

Contributing: AP

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