Activist investor Carl Icahn has boosted his stake in Motorola (NASDAQ:MOT) to 8.75 percent, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The news has been seen as a sign of confidence in the company, whose path Icahn has helped shape.
Icahn increased his stake in Motorola to 203.3 million shares--up from the 119.8 million shares, or 5.15 percent stake, he held at the end of last year. Motorola's shares are up 13 percent since the end of January, and Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha has pledged to get the mobile devices business back to profitability by the fourth quarter.
Icahn's dealings with Motorola over the years have been epic. In 2007, Icahn called for Motorola to be split up into four separate businesses. Though he didn't succeed in that specific effort, he did win the chance to nominate two members to Motorola's board. Subsequently, former Motorola CEO Ed Zander resigned from the company, and Motorola now is working to split into two publicly traded companies in the first quarter of 2011.
Motorola posted a net profit of $69 million in the first quarter of 2010, swinging back from the $231 million net loss in the year-ago period. Motorola's company-wide net sales fell to $5.04 billion, down 6.1 percent from $5.37 million in the first quarter of 2009.
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