Nokia jumps 7% as it announces $653 million share buyback program, warns of challenging 2024

Nokia new brand displayed on cellular, with Nokia brand on display screen.

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Nokia on Thursday mentioned that it will start a two-year 600 million euro ($653 million) share buyback this quarter, after reporting that its revenue plunged in 2023.

Nokia shares had been 7% greater at round 8.19 a.m. London time on Thursday.

One of the world’s largest cellular community gear makers, Nokia posted fourth-quarter web gross sales of 5.7 billion euros, a 23% year-on-year decline. Comparable working revenue fell 27% year-on-year to 846 million.

“In 2023 we noticed a significant shift in buyer habits impacting our business pushed by the macro-economic atmosphere and excessive rates of interest together with buyer stock digestion,” Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark mentioned in an announcement.

Inventory digestion refers to prospects, such as telecommunications networks, utilizing gear that they’ve already purchased, moderately than buying new gear.

Lundmark mentioned the “challenging atmosphere” of 2023 will proceed into 2024.

The firm forecast comparable working revenue will attain between 2.3 billion euros and a couple of.9 billion euros in 2024. Analysts expect working revenue to take a seat close to 2.4 billion euros in 2024, in accordance with LSEG consensus estimates.

Nokia has been harm by telecommunications operators slicing again on spending on their networks. India, which has been investing closely in its next-generation cellular networks over the previous couple of years, is starting to decelerate.

Mobile networks, Nokia’s largest division by income, noticed gross sales fall 17% year-on-year to 2.5 billion euros within the fourth quarter.

“In Mobile Networks, we count on prime line challenges in 2024 associated to a extra normalized tempo of funding in India and the AT&T determination,” Lundmark mentioned.

The firm suffered an enormous deal in December, when U.S. cellular service AT&T signed a take care of Nokia rival Ericsson to construct a brand new sort of 5G community within the U.S. AT&T’s community will rely closely on Ericsson, moderately than on Nokia.

That deal has had an influence on Nokia whose shares have fallen round 25% over the past yr.

Lundmark known as this a “disappointing improvement” that “doesn’t mirror the technological competitiveness” of Nokia.

On Thursday, the corporate mentioned it is now reducing its comparable working margin goal to be achieved by 2026 from at the very least 14% to at the very least 13%.

“Nokia nonetheless sees a path to reaching the at the very least 14% comparable working margin goal however contemplating the present market situations in Mobile Networks, this was deemed a prudent change,” Nokia mentioned.

The agency’s warnings concerning the outlook for 2024 come after rival Ericsson additionally reported a fall in sales and operating profit for the fourth quarter. Ericsson additionally signaleda challenging 2024 forward, noting prospects slicing spending and funding in India slowing down.

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