On Monday, Stoxx Ltd. announced the removal of Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) from its Stoxx 50 index due to market share losses on its smartphones.
The exit will come on March 18.
Investors didn’t respond well to the news as shares plummeted 5.4 percent to EUR 2.57 euros– a low last seen on Dec. 4, reported Reuters. In late afternoon Helsinki trading, shares were off 3.5 percent to EUR 2.63 euros, cutting the company’s value to EUR 9.8 billion euros (US $13 billion).
Year-to-date, the the stock has dropped 11 percent.
For Nokia, it’s looking to produce less expensive phones to help them find success in their Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows phones. Just last Monday, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) introduced its Lumia 520 phones. These represent the company’s least expensive Windows 8 phone option with specifications including a four-inch screen, a 1GHz dual-core processor and 8GB of storage.
CEO Stephen Elop, while attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, oversaw the launch of the phone. Priced at EUR 139 ($181), he did not deny another phone could be introduced at even lower price.
Good luck trying to do so as 2013 looks to be a slower year for the industry.
On Monday, the market research IDC gave a forecast estimating global smartphone shipments to hit 918.6 million units in 2013. This is a 29% rise from the firm’s shipment totals in 2012 but it represents a slower annual growth rate than last year’s 44% rate for the industry.
IDC wrote in its report via MarketWatch, “Now that smartphone users constitute the majority of all mobile phone users in the United States, IDC expects slower growth in the years ahead.”
For 2013, China has been forecast as the top market in smartphone shipments, which will include about 33% of total global shipments, as forecast by IDC. But lower-cost handsets are expected to encompass a bigger portion of that business as compared to established markets such as North America.
This forecast brought out the bears and according to Pierre Ferragu, a Sanford C. Bernstein, he added fuel to the fire by writing in a Monday research note, that with less Google searches for Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s Lumia 920, which runs on Microsoft’s Windows phone software, from its November peak, its demand could level out the present “low” levels.
In addition, don’t expect to see the expected shipment increase that many have forecast.
He wrote via Reuters, “Over the year, Nokia will also likely face pricing pressure to shift inventory which will have a negative impact on profitability.” Ferragu has an “Underperform” rating on Nokia with a EUR 1.20 ($1.56) target.