Why Nokia Is On The Right Track

Chris Lau, Kapitall: The transition of Nokia’s (NOK) business is on the right track. Since the infamous “burning platform” memo to staff on February 2011, Nokia released a number of Lumia handsets that run on Windows Phone 8. Evidence is strong that Nokia is headed towards a recovery.

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Lumia EOS

After the last Symbian device ships, Nokia is already planning more premium models for its lineup. The possible PureView Lumia 1020 phone, dubbed EOS, could be announced on July 11, 2013 in New York. If the Digitimes report is true, Nokia might ship more than 3 million EOS units in the second half of this year.

Aggressive trade-in program

To spur an upgrade among users of the iPhone 4S, Galaxy S4, and HTC One, Nokia is offering up to US $300 credit for customers who trade in those models. Other users would receive less.

Nokia buy out Siemens network partner

Nokia is buying the 50% share of Siemens’s (SI) NSN (Nokia Siemens Network) partnership for $2.21 billion. This purchase will be a bonus for Nokia shareholders, since the unit was finally profitable last year. The ownership also brings Nokia back to its roots in telecommunications. From a financial standpoint, the ownership frees Nokia from depending on Siemens to issue an IPO for NSN. If there are strains on the balance sheet due to restructuring or high debt levels, an IPO option will alleviate investor concerns.

To ease cash flow concerns, Siemens will be paid €1.2 billion on closing. An additional  0.5 billion will be paid through a secured loan one year after the close of the transaction.

  Nokia 1 Year Performance

Click on the image to see performance over time. Data sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

Analysis and conclusion

Taking ownership of NSN is very positive for Nokia and its shareholders. The unit is worth much more than the price that Nokia is paying. Analysts on average valued the unit at 3.2 billion (US $4.16 billion). The business stabilized after costs were reduced, and a focus on the fourth-generation wireless technology started to pay off.

Nokia’s phone set business is also on the right track. The line of Lumia devices covers all price ranges for consumers, from budget to premium. The Asha line in particular gives Nokia access to the budget market in emerging economies.


Written by Chris Lau, Kapitall Contributor