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Nokia shares extend fall, analysts slash targets

Nokia shares extend fall, analysts slash targets
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First Published: Wed, Jun 01 2011. 03 52 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Jun 01 2011. 03 52 PM IST
Helsinki: Investors offloaded shares in Nokia again on Wednesday, as analysts slashed price targets for the mobile phone maker after its profit warning and questioned whether it could ever recapture lost market share.
Nokia shares fell 9.6% to €4.298 by 0930 GMT, extending their previous day’s 18% fall. The stock is trading at its lowest level in more than 13 years.
Nokia said on Tuesday that mobile phone sales in the second quarter would be “substantially below” its previous forecast and abandoned its full-year outlook, blaming difficult conditions in China and Europe.
The company is moving to Microsoft Corp’s software from its own Symbian platform as part of an overhaul of its phone business set out three months ago by new chief executive Stephen Elop.
Analysts said their main concern was that Nokia, once the biggest player in mobile phones, may not be able to reclaim much market share even after it begins selling new phones based on Microsoft Corp’s Windows software.
“We would continue to avoid the stock as Symbian smartphone sales are falling off faster than expected and we are skeptical that new Windows Phone models will be able to replace lost profits,” said Gleacher & Co analyst Stephen Patel.
The company said tough competition from Apple and Google as well as lower-end handset makers were driving down its sales and selling prices.
After Tuesday’s drop, Nokia shares were trading at 10.4 times 12-month estimated forward earnings, compared with Apple’s 12.7 times and Microsoft’s 9.1 times.
“We are concerned that the erosion that the company has suffered in Q2 is just the beginning and that there could be worse to follow,” Nomura’s Global Technology Specialist Richard Windsor wrote in a note.
“Nokia’s potential release of a Windows Phone in Q4 is irrelevant, in our view,” he added, pointing out that it would be a high-end device likely to ship in low volumes.
Nomura cut its price target to €4.00 from €4.75 and kept its “reduce” recommendation.
J.P. Morgan also cut its price target on the shares to €4.25 from €5 , while Credit Suisse cut its target to €4 from €5.5.
“We see the earliest possible timing for the beginnings of a turnaround as the launch of new Windows products which we expect at the end of this year,” J.P. Morgan analyst Rod Hall said in a note, recommending investors remain underweight on the shares.
“Even then there are no guarantees that consumers will want what Nokia is selling,” he wrote.
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First Published: Wed, Jun 01 2011. 03 52 PM IST