Updated from 9:56 a.m. EST
Crushed by a worldwide consumer spending slowdown,
missed fourth-quarter numbers and says mobile phone sales for the industry will fall 10% this year.
The Finnish phone giant posted adjusted earnings of 26 Euro cents (33 cents) a share, below the 28 Euro cents (36 cents) analysts had been looking for. Sales for the quarter ended last month were 12.7 billion Euros ($16.4 billion), down 19% from year-ago levels of 15.7 billion Euros ($20.2 billion). Analysts' estimates called for 13.1 billion Euros ($16.9 billion).
Nokia shipped 113 million phones in the fourth quarter, below the lowered target of 115 and a rare 4% sequential decline in what is typically the strongest sales period of the year.
The No. 1 mobile phone shop says it lost a percentage point of market share, which reduced its slice to 37%. The company's outlook on worldwide phone sales turned dimmer. Nokia now says 2009 mobile phone sales will drop 10% below 2008 levels. Previously, Nokia had forecast a 5% slip.
Adjusting to the weakening global economy, Nokia says it will compete aggressively in a "robust" pricing environment, and also cut its annual dividend to 52 cents from 78 cents.
Nokia's results were even weaker than analysts had expected, though there have been ample signs that the widening recession put a freeze on consumer technology spending.
Certain clues of a coming cool-down came from
paltry sales of 19 million phones in the fourth quarter -- a quarter below already weak third-quarter levels. Adding to the gloom last week,
to a fourth-quarter loss on a 23% drop in sales from a year ago.
Nokia was particularly weak in the popular smartphone segment, caught somewhat flat-footed as it prepares to launch its first
iPhone-inspired touchscreen phone. Rival
Research In Motion
has been selling a touchscreen phone since November.
On a conference call with analysts, Nokia CEO Olli Pekka Kallasvuo noted the disappointment, but said he was "confident our smartphone portfolio is headed in the right direction."
Nokia shares were falling $1.39, or 10.1%, to $12.32 in recent trading Thursday.