Nokia Disappoints Investors Again

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Nokia Corp. (NOK) reported second-quarter 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The mobile handset maker’s adjusted earnings broke even on revenues of €5.7 billion (about $4.37 billion). In the same period a year ago, the company reported an earnings per share (EPS) loss of €0.08 ($0.10) on revenues of €7.54 billion (about $5.75 billion). Second-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for a net loss of $0.03 per share and $8.63 billion in revenues.

On an IFRS basis, Nokia reported a quarterly net loss of €0.06 per share. For the first six months of the year, Nokia has posted total revenues of €11.55 billion ($8.81 billion), down 22% from last year’s six-month total of €14.9 billion ($11.36 billion). The company has also reduced its IFRS EPS loss, from €0.63 ($0.83) in the first six months of 2012 to €0.13 ($0.17) so far this year.

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Nokia’s acquisition of all of its joint venture with Siemens A.G. (SI), Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), for €1.7 billion ($2.23 billion) is expected to close during the current quarter.

Of course Nokia is stoked about NSN, which sports a non-IFRS operating margin of 11.8% compared with a skinny 3.4% for the company’s own devices and services business. NSN also contributed nearly half of Nokia’s revenues in the second quarter.

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In the third quarter, Nokia expects an operating margin of negative 2% (+/- 4%) in its devices and services segment. That is based on higher sales of its mobile devices, so the inference we may draw is that the devices are going to be sold at very competitive prices. The company expects NSN’s operating margin in the third quarter to be 7% (again +/- 4%)

The company’s CEO said:

We're pleased to report an underlying operating profit for the fourth consecutive quarter on a group level. We benefited from another strong performance at Nokia Siemens Networks, which continued to deliver well against its focused strategy. With our recent announcement to purchase Siemens' 50% stake in Nokia Siemens Networks, we believe we will create value for Nokia shareholders and look forward to strengthening Nokia Siemens Networks as a more independent entity.

Nokia’s unit sales of smartphones in the second quarter increased by about 5.4% sequentially, from 11.1 million units to 11.7 million units. The company sold 7.4 million Lumia phones and 4.3 million Asha feature-phones. The average selling price rose just 4% on smart devices.

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Nokia’s shares are down about 4.7% in premarket trading, at $3.85 in a 52-week range of $1.67 to $4.90. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $3.40 before today’s report. Nokia’s shares have risen about 27.5% in the past three months, but are down nearly 2% for the year to date.

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