Signs of Life at Nokia
Here’s a phrase we haven’t heard from Nokia in some time, and one that few thought we’d be hearing anytime soon: “Better than expected results.” Yet that’s exactly the language the company used today, announcing preliminary financials for the last quarter of 2012.
Nokia said Thursday that it sold 86.3 million mobile devices. Of those, 15.9 million were smartphones, and of those, 4.4 million were Lumias running Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS. Another 9.3 million were from Nokia’s Asha portfolio — a line of handsets targeted at emerging markets. And 2.2 million were Symbian smartphones.
Taken together with lower-than-expected operating expenses, those handset sales were enough to push Nokia’s Devices & Services division into “underlying profitability,” beating a pretty ugly Q4 forecast. It might even be enough for it to post a small profit. We’ll find out on Jan. 24, when Nokia releases its full quarterly financials.
Either way, this uptick in Nokia’s fortunes is great news for the struggling company. Nokia has posted losses for three consecutive quarters now, racking up about $6.3 billion in losses since it first bet on Windows Phone in early 2011.
Said ETX Capital analyst Markus Huber, “After almost consistently posting mostly negative results and missing frequently estimates for several quarters it might just seem that Nokia is finally on the way up, having beaten estimates and their own previous outlook.”
At $4.41, Nokia shares are up well over 17 percent in early trading.