Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) was best known for its mobile phones, but now that this unit has been sold to Microsoft, the future growth of the company is in question. The task of regrowing the company has been assigned to new CEO Rajeev Suri. Suri, who has worked at Nokia since 1995, has been highly acclaimed for his capabilities and, therefore, was widely expected to become the next CEO.
“Rajeev is the right person to lead the company forward,” Nokia Chairman Risto Siilasmaa said in a recent statement. “He has a proven ability to create strategic clarity, drive innovation and growth, ensure disciplined execution, and deliver results.”
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NSN to face tough competition
Nokia-Microsoft deal worth 5.4 billion euros ($7.5 billion) was finalized on Friday, where Nokia sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft that was struggling for growth and success for quite some time. Nokia is now left with networks, navigation and patents units and they would now focus on growing these.
NSN has been a loss-making division of Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) for several years in a row. Suri turned it into a profitable one in 2012 by cutting down on costs and getting rid of unprofitable businesses. Nokia’s annual turnover for 2013 was 12.7 billion euros i.e. ($17.6 billion) from its continuing operations. Of this, a major part was contributed by NSN, and keeping this in view, the company has undertaken a policy to work aggressively towards making its networks market division a bigger success by capturing a higher share of the market.
Nokia’s Network Equipment Unit, Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), until recently was led by Suri, who is a 46-year-old Indian national. Analysts believe that Nokia will be facing face some tough competition from rivals such as Ericsson, the industry leader, and the Chinese giant Huawei.
Nokia turning investor friendly
Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) has announced that it plans to pay out an extra 1 billion euros in dividends and it will start a share buyback program worth 1.25 billion euros. This is an attempt by the company to retain its shareholders. Last year, the annual dividend was 0.11 euros and the company has proposed to pay an extra dividend of 0.26 euro per share. The Finnish company’s ordinary dividend will cost the company half of the past year’s earnings, i.e. 400 million. The company is also planning to reduce the debt by 2 billion so that it can save on the annual interest payment of 100 million euros.
Suri is optimistic on the company’s future and sees plenty of room for future growth.