Nokia Corporation this morning released 2016Q4 and full year 2016 financial results. Net sales were down from last year, with Non-IFRS net sales in Q4 2016 of EUR 6.7bn. This compares with the year-ago quarter, when non-IFRS net sales would have been EUR 7.7bn on a comparable combined company basis. Earnings still surprised to the high side, with Non-IFRS diluted EPS in Q4 2016 of EUR 0.12.
As of 7:30am Eastern, shares have responded favorably by rising 2.5% in Helsinki.
One of the things that jumps out from the report is the importance of patent disputes to high tech companies. Noteworthy was that a year ago Nokia had won a major patent arbitration case with Samsung that was not present in the most recent year. However, Nokia had filed suit with Apple claiming patent infringements. Clearly, patents settlements are a large factor moving telecom.
2016 was a major transformative year for Nokia, with the merger and integration with Alcatel-Lucent. They are now able to provide a much wider range of products, including wireless, optical transport, voice and data networking. They have the potential to offer a more cohesive and integrated product offering to major carriers. For me it is far too early to draw any conclusions on the transaction. But President and CEO Rajeev Suri stated was very upbeat about progress thus far:
“We also ended the year having successfully concluded the integration of Alcatel-Lucent faster than anticipated, allowing us to shift our full focus to cost savings, continuous improvement programs and the execution of our strategy.”
2017 will provide a much better indication as to how well Nokia’s new strategy is working out.