After six months of getting slapped around, Nokia (NOK) is poised to strike back.The Helsinki-based tech company, long a Wall Street favorite, lost its famous touch last holiday season. The company hemorrhaged market share in the first half of the year after its mulish insistence on selling unfashionable, blocky phones locked it out of the hottest part of the handset business. Now, Thursday morning brings the newly flexible Finnish handset giant a chance at redemption, via second-quarter numbers. Wall Street will be watching both sales and pricing in hopes that the stock can wipe out those unhappy first-half memories. For the second quarter, analysts are looking for earnings of 17 cents a share on $8.3 billion in sales. That represents a 4-cent drop in profits from the previous quarter, but a slight improvement to the top line. Looking ahead to the September quarter, analysts expect 4% sequential sales growth from the June quarter. Nokia shares were down a dime to $14.21 in afternoon trading Wednesday. The stock has been mostly flat ever since the company unveiled back-to-back earnings disappointments in April.
But there is a chance that some have been too quick to write off Nokia, without considering all the big Finn's strengths. "It's hard to ignore a player with the leading market share in a price competitive market," says the Wall Street analyst, who asked not to be named. "Nokia has great cost advantages and big pricing leverage with suppliers and manufacturers."
but they also catch them," the sell-side analyst says.