Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK): What’s Next After Microsoft Deal?

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Nokia 8
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Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s shareholders would most likely to approve the sale of the company’s handset business to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), in an annual general meeting scheduled in Helsinki on Tuesday. Apart from this strategic move, some concerns are also expected to be raised over the €19 million pay-off to former chief executive Stephen Elop.

After the announcement of the deal with Microsoft, investors have been positive on the stock, but they also have many questions concerning the future direction of the Finnish firm. A report from FT by Richard Milne and Daniel Thomas lists four such questions:

What will happen to the new core of Nokia?

According to the report, with the handset business gone, Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) would take over to become the new core. With plenty of cash at its disposal, and more coming in from Microsoft, many analysts are expecting Nokia’s telecoms equipment business to acquire a rival to compete with bigger rivals like Ericsson.

Who will become chief executive?

The report sees Mr. Suri as a strong contender to replace Mr. Elop as the chief executive of Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V). Suri, who has been known for turning around the struggling “child of NSN,” has been popular amongst analysts for his acute understanding of business fundamentals. Timo Ihamuotila, who is currently the finance director and interim president of Nokia, is also being considered for the CEO position.

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What about the other two divisions?

Apart from NSN, investors will also need answers regarding the other two divisions – Nokia’s vast patent portfolio and its mapping business. Nokia’s patent portfolio will come under a segment named ‘advanced technologies’, which will also include research and development with a focus on future consumer products. On the mapping business, people close to the Microsoft deal say that the only reason the segment was not given to the software giant was due to the lack of consensus on the price.

How much cash back can shareholders expect?

Investors are also interested in knowing the amount of cash that will be returned by Nokia to them. Sami Sarkamies, analyst at Nordea, believes that a maximum of €4 billion could be returned to shareholders via dividends. Also, activist investor Daniel Loeb, who recently revealed a stake in Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V), is expecting the company to return more cash to investors by way of dividends and buyback.

During the third quarter’s earnings call, Nokia stated that more details on the “strategy, operating structure and capital structure” would be provided around the closing of the Microsoft deal, which is expected to conclude by the first quarter. Stakeholders will have to wait until the first quarter to get answers to their questions.