Techno News: Nokia Disappoints Investors With Forecast

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — Shares in Nokia, the world’s largest maker of mobile phones, plunged more than 13.5 percent on Thursday after the company downgraded its forecast for the global handset market and posted lower-than-expected first-quarter earnings.

Nokia reported a net profit of $1.9 billion in the first three months of the year, 25 percent more than the $1.6 billion of the period in 2007 but below analysts’ forecasts.

Revenue grew 28 percent, to $20 billion, from $15.6 billion a year earlier, with strong growth of handset sales in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The markets were expecting a better result, and Nokia stock closed down $4.74, or 14 percent, to $28.95 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company, based in Espoo, Finland, said its market share slipped to 39 percent in the first quarter this year, from 40 percent in the October-to-December quarter. But it sold 115 million mobile devices in the first quarter, up 27 percent from a year earlier, and its market share was three points higher than in the first quarter a year ago.

Nokia’s strongest growth in mobile phone sales was in the Asia-Pacific region, which for the first time overtook Europe as the company’s biggest market. It sold 34 million units in the region, accounting for more than a third of the company’s mobile phone sales.

But selling cheaper handsets in emerging markets continued to push down the closely watched average selling price of Nokia’s mobile devices. It fell to $125 in the period, from $132 in the previous quarter and $141 in the first quarter last year.



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