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Motorola Mobility’s Preliminary Quarterly Sales Trail Estimates

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Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Motorola Mobility Inc., the phone maker that agreed to be bought by Google Inc., reported preliminary fourth-quarter sales that trailed analysts’ estimates, citing mounting competition and higher legal costs.

Sales were probably little changed at $3.4 billion in the period, Libertyville, Illinois-based Motorola Mobility said in a statement today. Bloomberg analysts had forecast revenue of $4 billion. Motorola, which recently won a German patent ruling against Apple Inc., cited higher costs from intellectual property litigation and an “increased competitive environment” in the mobile-device market in the quarter.

The handset maker said it shipped about 10.5 million devices during the period, of which more than half were smartphones.

The company said it expects to complete its transaction with Mountain View, California-based Google early this year. Motorola fell 0.4 percent to $38.30 in extended trading, after closing at $38.46. The shares rose 33 percent last year. The company plans to report earnings on Jan. 26.

To contact the writer of this column: Heather Perlberg in New York at hperlberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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