"Extremely poor" Symbian sales set the tone for another rough quarter for Nokia
Nokia is facing an uncertain future and analysts themselves post mixed reports about the Finnish company. On one hand it’s got Windows Phone as its main platform and promise for the future, but with little real sales to back it up and a bumpy uphill adventure against iOS and Android, and on the other it’s trying to convince people to still buy Symbian smartphones despite the fact that it’s previously announced that the platform is dying.
Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Walkley sees mixed Lumia reports and “extremely poor” Symbian sales, all pointing to another rough quarter for Nokia. Walkley reiterated a Hold rating on Nokia stock, revising his estimate for the company’s shares down a dollar to $5.
“We are lowering our estimates ahead of Nokia’s Q1/12 earnings report as our checks indicate weak Symbian sales, seasonally soft feature phone sales, and a slow ramp in Windows smartphones,” the analyst said.
“Our global checks indicated mixed Lumia sales with price declines helping sales trends in Europe,” Walkley said. “However, our checks indicated extremely poor Symbian sales trends and seasonally soft feature phone sales, resulting in our lowered Q1/12 Devices and Services sales estimate from 4.9B to 4.7B. We have also lowered our overall Windows smartphone estimates, resulting in us lowering our 2012 pro forma EPS estimate from $0.05 to ($0.03) and our 2013 estimate from $0.54 to $0.40.”
RBC Capital‘s Mark Sue begs to differ. The analyst reiterated an Outperform rating on Nokia shares and expects its stock to hit $9 apiece. “Coming to America in a big way,” Sue summarized the Lumia 900 launch.
“Thus far we would characterize the uptake of Nokia’s Lumia 710 and 800 as ‘decent’. For the 900 series, feedback, while early, seems constructive on the hardware and start screen’s live tiles,” the analyst expressed his hope for Nokia’s US future.
The biggest factor, though, remains carriers’ willingness to embrace a third platform that will diversify Apple’s dominant position and give them more place to maneuver against Google Wallet, a service they as threatening carrier revenues.
RBC also agrees, though, that the first quarter of the year is likely to be rough, with sales gravitating toward the lower estimations of around 90 million handsets sold.
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