Having shed its handset unit, Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) still remains a force and this was illustrated in its earnings report on Thursday. Nokia saw a third quarter profit of €747 million ($941 million) as opposed to the year-over-year loss of €91 million loss in the corresponding quarter.
Analysts were predicting revenues of €3.02 billion, but Nokia once again surprised when it reported sales of €3.32 billion. The quarter’s surprising results were the result of a large tax gain as well as strong sales of high-speed mobile networks in both China and North America.
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“Progress was widespread, with four of our six regions increasing sales,” Nokia’s chief executive, Rajeev Suri, proudly reported.
When one mentions Nokia it’s easy to immediately jump to its handset business without remembering that it was losing money before it was sold to Microsoft. Nokia is largely a mobile networks firm with a number of patents to license and sell as well as a company that does a good deal of digital mapping. Huawei Technologies Co. and Ericsson really shouldn’t be mentioned in a sentence without the inclusion of Nokia that actively competes with both in nearly every market.
The quarterly surprise was largely due to its mobile network business and business with Sprint and China Mobile that really turned around the division in the last year. Nokia also turned analysts heads Thursday when it increased is full-year profit margin from high single digits to a now anticipated 11%.
Nokia’s shares picked up around 3.5% following the reporting by Mr. Suri who took over as CEO in April of this year after heading its mobile network division for nearly five years. If that is what Nokia is to concentrate on these days, it appears as if they chose wisely.
While Nokia’s HERE mapping service is primarily aimed at the corporate world who make the unit money through licensing agreements, Nokia is just weeks away from releasing a map app for both Android and iOS. While Google Maps is the go to mapping app from millions, Apple cannot make the same claim. Mr. Suri reiterated that HERE, the company’s mapping arm, is something that is does well and has no interest in selling at present saying, “Nokia is a good owner of HERE, we have a balance sheet that can help the operation.”