Nokia's Smart-Phone Slip
Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo says the demand for mobile devices improved in many markets during the third quarter–but you wouldn’t know it to look at the company’s earnings. This morning, Nokia posted an unexpected 559 million euro ($836 million) loss for the period, its first in a decade.
Dragging the company down: A 908 million euro goodwill write-off in the Nokia Siemens Networks venture it co-owns with Siemens (SI). Revenue was 9.8 billion euros, or about $14.6 billion, which was down about 20 percent compared to last year. Worse, smart-phone market share declined to 35 percent from 41 percent in the previous quarter.
Six points gone in three months? That’s a brutal loss and one that demonstrates just how much pressure the company is seeing from Apple (AAPL) and Research in Motion (RIMM), among others.
“Nokia is launching plenty of new high-end smartphone models, such as the N900 and N97 mini,” Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston told Reuters. “But as yet there is no iPhone killer to drive a major revival in its smartphone volumes. Nokia is still struggling in the U.S. smartphone market, and with competition intensifying in China as well, Nokia’s battles can only get tougher in 2010.”
Still, Nokia (NOK) did have some good news to report. It expects mobile device volumes to increase in the fourth quarter of 2009 and it sees the global handset market shrinking less this year than analysts had feared–seven percent instead of 10 percent.
“It is encouraging to see some signs of recovery in our markets,” Kallasvuo said during a conference call. “But let’s be clear, uncertainty in end-consumer demand remains.”