Thursday, June 17, 2010

If Nokia Loses

There used to be a site called f*dcompany.com. Nokia is starting to look like a company that might have qualified for it's death watch clock. No, that's too extreme. But as I said in October 2009, they're in trouble - and for reasons that were all visible (if not actionable by investors) as long ago as 2003.

In October 2009 when I wrote that post, the stock was at around $14. Right now they're at $8.81.


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If you look over a longer timeframe then Nokia have been largely flat since mid-2002 (unless you bought in late 2008 - but pretty much anything you bought then doesn't look so great now).


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(both graphs sourced from e*trade)

My closing paragraph was

Two years from now, is it possible that Nokia's market share will be less than 20% of the global total with a single digit percentage share in smartphones? It sounds far fetched, but it's possible. Were that to happen, it strikes me that acquirers would move in - and Nokia's response would be to close down failing businesses and make significant cost reductions to fend them off. Would the Finnish government allow a foreign company to acquire all or large parts of Nokia? We will, perhaps, see. Place your bets - are you long or short Nokia?

Market share is heading down, cost cuts will have to be made and margin compression is inevitable. I think there's more downside from here.

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