Nokia Shares Plunge After Warning Of Loss

 @DavidZie
on April 11 2012 9:24 AM
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, holding up the company's flagship Lumia 900 REUTERS
  • Nokia
    Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia. REUTERS
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Nokia (NYSE: NOK), the Finnish mobile phone maker trying to regain share, warned its shift will take longer than expected. As a result, financial results for the first half of 2012 will be negative.

In response, Nokia's American Depositary Receipts plunged nearly 16 percent on Wednesday. They fell to $4.24, down 79 cents. They had previously gained nearly 5 percent this year.

The news trimmed nearly $3 billion from Nokia's market value.

This warning clearly shows that uptake of new devices has been far from sufficient, said Lee Simpson, analyst with Jeffries. Does this suggest more bad news is to come?

Nokia lost share to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), as well as other makers of smartphones including Samsung Electronics. Simpson estimated that Nokia had sold only 9 million smartphones in the quarter, a third less than expected, with overall sales of mobile devices at 71 million units, or 13 million below estimates.

Under former Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) executive Steve Elop, Nokia has pinned its recovery hopes on adopting Microsoft's Windows for its new phones, including the well-received Lumia line, replacing the European Symbian OS it had used before.

But Nokia warned multiple factors hurt first-quarter results, so that that it expects to report an operating loss, with a negative operating margin. Previously Nokia had predicted a breakeven first quarter.

Making matters worse, the Finnish phone maker predicted the problems will persist into the current quarter.

Nokia's market capitalization was $18.8 billion at Tuesday's close. Wednesday's trading trimmed it to only $15.9 billion.

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