Nokia Must Have A Strong Holiday Season, After Weak Q3

Nokia Must Have A Strong Holiday Season, After Weak Q3
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Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) is expected to report a loss in C3Q12, according to latest analyst forecasts on the ailing handset maker. The Finnish company has tallied EUR3b in losses since it slipped behind Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the smartphone business, nearly 18 months ago.

Nokia must do well in the next holiday season, if indeed, it is to recoup some of its lost market value. The company will be launching its Nokia Lumia 820 and Nokia Lumia 920 in November, which coincides with the start of the December holiday season, as people prepare to send gifts. Analysts believe that if the Windows phone platform can gain market share by a mere 5%, with Nokia replicating the same, then this can spur up Nokia’s stock price to about 2.80 euros.

Nokia Must Have A Strong Holiday Season, After Weak Q3

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The company dumped its own Operating software, Symbian, in favor of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Windows Phone, but the O.S. from the Windows maker is yet to gain a significant traction in the market, as it commands only 3%. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android holds the lion’s share in the business, with about 67% of the market share, while Apple’s iOS comes a distant second, with less than 20%.

Wedbank analyst Hakan Wranne, who has a “Buy” rating for Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) stock, and a price target of EUR 2.80, is quoted by Reuters saying, “if they manage to take say 5 percent of the smartphone market and show just half-decent margins… well then the stock looks attractive at current levels,” in reference to Windows Phone’s market share.

Nokia, which has already announced a partnership with the North American-based carrier network, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), still faces the risk of running out of cash, which is expected to be about $3.4 billion for C3Q12, as compared to $4.2 billion three months ago. Additionally, analysts feel that Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, needs to convince investors that the company has the right partnerships and sales incentives in place to promote Lumia phones.

James Crawshaw, analyst at S&P Capital IQ Equity, who rates the stock as “hold”, is quoted saying, “It will be a tough proposition,” referring to the New Nokia Lumia smartphones outlook. The company has also been cutting costs through restructuring and disposal of some of its assets. The exercise is likely to result in long-term benefits, but will surely drain some of its cash in Severance expenses.

At the time of this writing, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) stock was trading at $2.56 per share, up $0.01, or a 0.39% rise from yesterday’s close.

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