Still, its products are not challenging the leaders in the smartphone sector, Apple (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics.
Nokia Chairman and acting CEO Risto Siilasmaa should have described the fourth quarter as a swan song instead of a watershed for the company, which is now composed of the smaller divisions or, as I call it, "the leftovers" after the Microsoft deal closes. He said the company continues to expect the Microsoft deal to "significantly improve Nokia's earnings profile."
Good news for Nokia's shareholders. But how about Microsoft shares?
MSFT actually closed up a little on Thursday to $36.06, but -- and this is a big "but" -- the stock popped by 3% in after-hours trading following the news it reported a fiscal second-quarter profit of $6.56 billion, or 78 cents a share, compared with a profit of $6.38 billion, or 76 cents a share, for the year-earlier period.
Revenue rose to $24.52 billion from $21.46 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet on average were expecting the company to report a profit of 68 cents a share on revenue of $23.67 billion, so this was an unexpectedly pleasant upside surprise in both these financial categories. Thirty minutes after the closing bell, MSFT shares were trading around $37.24, up $1.18 from the day's closing price.
The one-year chart for MSFT is looking pretty good already. When all the facts about the fourth quarter 2013 financial results are factored in this chart will look even better.
MSFT data by YCharts
The company's 14% sales growth and other positive announcements should help secure its sustainable 3%-plus dividend and the upside prospects for MSFT's share price.
This is especially good news in the light of Nokia's dismal fourth-quarter results. Nothing like a good contradiction between the acquired and the acquirer.
At the time of publication the author had positions in AAPL and MSFT but had no positions in the other companies mentioned in this article.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.