Starting Tuesday, Motorola becomes two companies

Long-awaited split set for Jan. 4; MOT ticker symbol to be replaced by MMI, MSI

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Say goodbye to MOT.

The long-time ticker symbol for Motorola is being replaced on the New York Stock Exchange as of Tuesday by MMI and MSI, which stand for Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and Motorola Solutions Inc., respectively.

(Also see: Motorola shares up after date set for company split)

Motorola's board approved the split more than two years ago, but internal problems and the recession delayed the move, which was expected sometime in 2009. The final split date of Jan. 4 was set on Nov. 30.

Motorola Mobility Holdings will get the company's smartphone business. The handset division that becomes MMH on Tuesday enjoyed a successful year in 2010 thanks to sales of Motorola's Android-powered smartphones. The rest of the company (the business mobile and network divisions) will comprise Motorola Solutions and will trade on the NYSE as MSI.

According to the Wall Street Journal, based on the results of two reverse stock splits and the price of shares in a form of preliminary trading called "when-issued," Motorola Mobility is valued at $9 billion, while Motorola Solutions currently is worth $12.8 billion.

For the record, MOT closed its last day of trading up 4 cents, or 0.44 percent, to 9.11. Shares gained 16.9 percent in 2010.

On Tuesday I'll take a look at what each of these new companies do and the competitive challenges they face.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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