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Nokia (NOK) Earnings and Revenues Decline Y/Y in Q1

Finland-based Nokia Corporation’s NOK first-quarter 2016 earnings per share (on an adjusted basis) of €0.03 (approximately 3 cents) were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. This was the first quarter for Nokia post the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. In the year-ago quarter, Nokia had reported earnings of €0.05 (approximately 5 cents) per share.

Revenues declined 9% year over year (on a comparable combined company basis) to €5.6 billion (approximately $6.2 billion) but lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.3 billion. Disappointing performance by the Nokia Networks division hurt the top line.

Quarterly adjusted gross margin was 39.4% in the reported quarter compared with 36.9% in the prior-year quarter. Operating margin improved to 6.2% from 4.5% in the first quarter of 2015. Nokia exited the first quarter of 2016 with net cash from operating activities of negative  €1,583 million, compared with €460 million at the end of 2015.

Nokia Networks Segment

Total revenue was approximately €5,181 million (approximately $5,715 million), down 8% year over year (on a comparable combined company basis). At constant currency, segmental net sales were down 9%. Net sales declined in all regions apart from Latin America where growth was 6%. Net sales declined in North America (17%), Middle East & Africa (11%), Asia-Pacific (6%), Greater China (5%) and Europe (3%). Segmental gross margin contracted 340 basis points to 38.3% in the reported quarter. Quarterly adjusted operating margin came in at 6.5% compared with 3.7% a year ago.

The segment includes Ultra Broadband Networks and IP Networks and Applications. The 12% decline in the Ultra Broadband Networks sub-group to €3,729 million hurt segmental sales. Ultra Broadband Networks comprises Mobile Networks and Fixed Networks. Ultra Broadband Networks results suffered due to a 15% reduction in net sales of Mobile Networks to €3,116 million. Fixed Networks net sales climbed 13% to €613 million

Net sales in the IP Networks and Applications sub-group climbed 1% to €1,452 million driven by the 4% increase in net sales of IP/Optical Networks to €1,093 million. Net sales in the Applications & Analytics unit fell 7% to €359 million.

Nokia Technologies Segment

Quarterly total revenue came in at €198 million (approximately $218 million), down 27% year over year. Net sales decreased 28% at constant currency. Adjusted operating margin in the reported quarter fell to 53.5% from 65.2% a year ago.

Group Common and Other

Net sales climbed 16% to €236 million (approximately $260 million). The growth was driven by strong sales of Alcatel Submarine Networks. Segmental net sales increased 7% on a constant currency basis.

Outlook

The telecom giant, that officially took control of rival Alcatel-Lucent in Jan 2016, now expects to realize annual operating cost synergies of more than the previously stated €900 million from the Alcatel-Lucent deal in 2018. Capital expenditure for the company is projected at approximately €650 million for 2016.

The company expects net sales in its primary networks division to fall in 2016 due to a declining wireless infrastructure market among other headwinds. Segmental operating margin is forecasted above 7% for the year.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Nokia presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the broader Computer & Technology sector may consider BlackBerry Limited BBRY, KT Corp. KT and Medical Transcription Billing, Corp. MTBC. All the three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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