Nokia under pressure to show turnaround plan

Nokia

Reuters file photo

Nokia’s Chief Executive Stephen Elop will be under pressure on Thursday to convince investors the Finnish mobile phone company is still capable of a turnaround, after last week warning markets it expects to post losses for the first six months of 2012.

Nokia is due to announce its full, first-quarter report at around 1000 GMT, and hold a conference call with investors at 1200 GMT.

Since the company already warned on April 11 that its phone business would post losses in the first two quarters of this year and quarterly earnings per share (EPS) is the only key number left to announce, analysts said they would focus on Elop’s views on how and when the company would begin to recover.

“We will be all looking at the measures they will use to turn this thing around,” said Pohjola analyst Hannu Rauhala.

Some others said the company could announce further restructuring already on Thursday.

Nokia is expected to report a loss of 0.07 euros per share for the first quarter and a similar loss for the second quarter, according to analysts’ forecasts compiled by ThomsonReuters Starmine.

Nokia’s switch to Microsoft’s Windows operating system has yet to help it win back smartphone customers who are being lured by Apple and Samsung Electronics.

The shares have dropped to around 3 euros, their lowest since 1997, valuing the firm at about 11 billion euros. The stock had already crashed more than 50 percent since Nokia announced in February 2011 it was dropping its own Symbian operating software and switching to Windows.

Some analysts say the shares are now undervalued taking into account the firm has 4.9 billion euros of cash and with the stock trading below book value.

But investors have been wary of betting on the shares until signs – or at least a more convincing plan – of a turnaround.

Since last week’s warning many industry executives and investors have begun questioning whether Elop, who joined from Microsoft in 2010, made a mistake in betting on software from his old employer.

With Elop yet to prove his decision was right, many say 2012 no longer looks like a year of recovery for Nokia but another tough year of dwindling share in smartphones.

InterAksyon.com