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Can Nokia Answer Higher Profits Calls After Hanging Up Phones?

Second, the network segment just posted a 8% year-over-year decline with operating margin shedding 80 basis points year over year to 11%. Combine this with the 19% revenue decline in its higher-margin Global Services business, which also posted a 80-basis-point operating margin decline, and it's tough to be bullish long term on Nokia's stock.

During the conference call Thursday, management said it can turn the network segment around and deliver year-over-year growth sometime in the second half of this year. That's all well and good. The question is with the persistent declines in operating margins, which suggests lack of network profits.

The good news is, Nokia is no longer strapped for cash thanks to the Microsoft deal. Revenue growth alone, however, is not enough to push these shares higher.

It was at this time last year Nokia bought the remaining portion of its joint venture with Siemens (SI) called Nokia Siemens Network. Management had (then) just begun devoting its attention to that business. This means Nokia is approaching a couple of quarters of easier comps.

In other words, Nokia's 2013 network revenue were low enough that it should have no problems exceeding them. It doesn't need a miracle. It just needs profits.

At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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