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Fears for the future hit Nokia
Posted: 28-Jul-2000 [Source: FT]

[Handset introduction delays have contributed to lower than expected earnings forecasts, causing a sharp drop in stock price. ]

Stockholm -- "Shares in Nokia, the world's leading producer of mobile phones, plunged more than 20 per cent on Thursday after the company warned of a third-quarter fall in earnings per share because of delays in introducing new models.

"Despite reporting record second-quarter profits, the Finnish company's stock has been downgraded by investment banks fearing long-term problems. Several companies have recently reported difficulties.

"Nokia has shown that it is not immortal and perhaps it will not be able to recover margins as quickly as it thinks," one analyst said.

"Jorma Ollila, chief executive, said the introduction of some new handset models which had been planned for the start of the third quarter had been delayed to the end of the period.

"With fewer sales of the new and higher margin products, overall earnings per share for the mobile division are expected to fall from their record level of 25 per cent in the second quarter.

"We anticipate Nokia's earnings per share in the third quarter to be at least equal to the level achieved in the third quarter of 1999. However, due to the timing of the new product introductions as well as seasonality, they are projected to be lower than in the second quarter of this year," Mr Ollila said.

"In the fourth quarter, we expect the earnings per share to exceed the level achieved in the second quarter of 2000," he added.

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