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Nokia (NOK) Q1 Earnings & Revenues Beat Estimates, Rise Y/Y

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Nokia Corporation NOK reported solid first-quarter 2021 results, wherein both the bottom line and the top line beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.

The company is on track to deliver on its three-phased plan to achieve sustainable, profitable growth and technology leadership.

Net Income

Profit (from continuing operations) in the March quarter was €272 million or €0.05 per share against a loss of €100 million or loss of €0.02 per share in the year-ago quarter. The improvement primarily resulted from an operating profit.

Comparable profit came in at €375 million ($452 million) or €0.07 (8 cents) per share, up from €33 million or €0.01 per share in the prior-year quarter. The bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7 cents.

Nokia Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Nokia Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Nokia Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Nokia Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Nokia Corporation Quote


On a reported basis, quarterly net sales grew 3.3% year over year to €5,076 million ($6,118.1 million). The growth was primarily driven by the Network Infrastructure business group, which benefited from the increasing demand for next-generation connectivity. The momentum was however partially offset by Mobile Networks and Cloud and Network Services, which were negatively impacted by foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Also, the top line surpassed the consensus estimate of $5,867 million.

Net sales declined in two out of the seven regions on a year-over-year basis — Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa — by 17% and 14%, respectively. The same increased in Europe, Greater China, India, Latin America and North America by 3%, 21%, 17%, 4% and 13%, respectively.

Segment Results

Sales in Mobile Networks declined 3.5% year over year to €2,262 million. The decline was due to services and legacy radio access products. The segment’s gross margin surged 270 basis points (bps) to 32.8%. Operating margin increased 380 bps to 1.9%.

Network Infrastructure sales were up 21.7% year over year to €1,727 million. The growth was driven by all four businesses (IP Networks, Optical Networks, Fixed Networks and Submarine Networks). Gross margin increased 310 bps to 34.7%. Operating margin jumped 1,490 bps to 6.1%.

Cloud and Network Services sales fell 9.4% year over year to €674 million. This was primarily due to Cloud and Cognitive Services with the continuation of exiting poorly performing projects. Gross margin grew 50 bps to 32.8%. Operating margin improved 370 bps to -5.6%.

Nokia Technologies sales grew 5.2% year over year to €365 million. This was driven by higher patent licensing sales related to two recently inked new patent license agreements and a renewed patent license agreement inked in fourth-quarter 2020. Gross margin improved 30 bps to 99.7%. Operating margin fell 230 bps to 78.4%.

Group Common and Other sales declined 16.2% year over year to €57 million due to Radio Frequency Systems. Gross margin was -1.8%, up 410 bps.

Other Details

Cost of sales decreased to €3,151 million from €3,177 million in the year-ago quarter. Gross profit grew 10.9% to €1,925 million. Operating profit was €431 million against a loss of €76 million in the year-ago quarter.

Cash Flow & Liquidity

During the first quarter of 2021, Nokia generated €1,304 million of net cash from operating activities compared with €134 million in the year-ago quarter.

As of Mar 31, 2021, the company had €7,315 million ($8,578.3 million) in cash and cash equivalents with €5,039 million ($5,909.3 million) of long-term interest-bearing liabilities. This compares with the respective tallies of €6,940 million and €5,015 million at the end of the previous quarter.

2021 Outlook

Nokia has maintained its outlook for full-year 2021. It continues to expect net sales (adjusted for currency fluctuations) between €20.6 billion and €21.8 billion. The company expects an operating margin of 7-10%. ROIC is estimated between 10% and 15%.

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

Nokia currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has a VGM Score of A.

Some other top-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Vicor Corporation VICR, Micron Technology MU and Western Digital Corporation WDC, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Vicor delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 80.6%, on average.

Micron delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 6.5%, on average.

Western Digital delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 10.9%, on average.

Conversion rate used:

€1 = $1.205309 (period average from Jan 1, 2021 to Mar 31, 2021)

€1 = $1.172706 (as of Mar 31, 2021)

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