Nokia CEO Disappointed Crappy Earnings Not More of a Distraction From Exit Rumors
Lucky for Nokia, expectations for its latest financials were so low that it was nearly impossible for it to miss consensus estimates. Posting second-quarter results this morning, the company turned in another poor performance. At $289.8 million, Nokia’s net profit was down 40 percent but–thanks to its June 16 warning–essentially in line with market expectations. Revenue was up one percent, and the company’s overall market share fell to 33 percent in the quarter, down from 35 percent a year earlier.
Clearly, Nokia’s struggles in the top end of the market continue, and its failure to develop a compelling offering there are weighing on it more heavily than ever in these days following the debut of iPhone 4 and various Droids. That said, CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo insists Nokia (NOK) has reasons to be optimistic, with the new Nokia N8 scheduled to debut later this the year. “We are approaching the end of this painful product transition at the high end of our product portfolio,” he said during a conference call with analysts today. “The N8 will mark the beginning of our renewal. As we go forward I believe we will regain high-end leadership in our industry.”
But really, what did you expect him to say? Given recent media reports claiming Nokia’s board has begun searching for his successor, this may well be Kallasvuo’s last chance to, in his words, “kick-start Nokia’s fightback” against Android and the iPhone.
Indeed, in an interview with CNBC today, Kallasvuo called for an end to rumors about his tenuous future at the company. “There has been a lot of speculation on my position, on myself, during the last couple of weeks,” he said. “That speculation is detrimental. It’s not good for Nokia and must be brought to an end one way or another.”
And at this point, which way it will be brought to an end is an open question. Said Kallasvuo, “I’m not in a position here and now to really shed any more light on the topic. I really must just concentrate now on the task at hand.”