Updated from 7:47 a.m. EDT

Nokia ( NOK) disappointed with its third-quarter earnings report, as net income slid nearly 30% from a year ago, although the handset maker offered an optimistic view of mobile-phone unit growth for the last quarter of the year.

The Finnish mobile-phone giant posted earnings for the quarter of 29 euros a share, falling from a profit of 40 euros a share in the year-ago period. Excluding a restructuring charge and other one-time items in Nokia Siemens Networks and the acquisition of digital mapmaker Navteq, Nokia notched a profit 33 euros a share.

Sales for the quarter ended last month were 12.2 billion euros, down 5% from a year earlier and 7% sequentially. Analysts on average expected Nokia to post a profit for the second quarter of 1.22 billion euros, or 33 euros a share, on sales of 12.8 billion euros, according to Thomson Reuters.

On the positive side, Nokia said adjusted gross margin increased to 35.7% from 34.5% a year earlier as a result of an agreement with Qualcomm ( QCOM) and certain other license agreements concluded during the third quarter.

"As a result of our strong operational management and market position, Nokia was able to achieve solid margins and operating cash flow of 1.3 billion euros for the third quarter of 2008," CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said in a press release. "With our scale, brand, improving product portfolio and low cost structure, we believe Nokia is well-positioned for the current times."

Handset shipments hit 117.8 million in the quarter, Nokia said, coming in slightly below expectations. Shipments were up 5% from a year ago but down 3% from the previous quarter, cutting Nokia's market share to 38% from 39% a year ago and 40% sequentially. The average selling price of its mobile devices slipped to 72 euros, down from 74 euros sequentially.

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