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Motorola Solutions readies innovation center in downtown

Gregory Q. Brown MotorolSolutions

Gregory Q. Brown, Motorola Solutions

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Updated: February 25, 2013 12:40PM

Motorola Solutions, the walkie-talkie and bar-code scanner company that emerged from the old Motorola Inc., will open an innovation center in the next few weeks at its new downtown site at the old Santa Fe building at 224 S. Michigan, CEO Greg Brown said Wednesday.

The innovation center, which will employ six, will showcase the latest technologies and be open for tours to groups such as tech startups and entrepreneurs.

“It will further make Motorola Solutions and Chicago a showcase for the latest and greatest public-safety and enterprise mobility technologies,” Brown said.

Motorola had announced in December it would move its North American sales leadership team of about 100 people to the Santa Fe building. The relocation will happen in the next two to three weeks.

The moves are part of the Schaumburg-based company’s commitment to house 400 of its employees in downtown Chicago. Another 100 workers already work in a “mobile zone” at 233 N. Michigan.

Brown said the company will reveal where the final 200 workers will work downtown some time between April and June.

He spoke to the Sun-Times after Motorola Solutions announced an 83 percent jump in its fourth-quarter revenues, largely from growth in government contracts that outpaced a slowdown in spending from retail clients.

The company earned $336 million, or $1.18 per share, in the October-December period. That’s up from $184 million, or 56 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings, which exclude stock compensation expenses and other costs, were $1.10 per share in the latest quarter.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $2.44 billion from $2.3 billion.

Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of $1.02 per share on revenue of $2.45 billion, according to FactSet.

Revenue at Motorola Solutions’ government segment rose 10 percent year-over-year to $1.7 billion. Revenue at its enterprise, or corporate segment, declined 3 percent to $733 million.

For the current quarter, the company expects adjusted earnings of 62 cents to 67 cents per share and revenue growth of 4 percent to 5 percent from the first quarter of 2012, when it posted revenue of $1.96 billion. That implies a forecast for revenue of $2.04 billion to $2.06 billion.

Analysts, on average, are expecting adjusted earnings of 67 cents per share on revenue of $2.07 billion, an increase of 6 percent from a year earlier.

Motorola Inc. split into two in early 2011.

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