ESPOO, Finland - The world's No. one mobile-phone maker, Nokia Corp., saw fourth-quarter earnings rise 44 per cent on strong sales in emerging markets, boosting its share of the global handset market to a record 40 per cent.The Finnish company (NYSE:NOK) said Thursday its net profit in the October to December period was 1.8 billion euros ($2.6 billion), up from 1.3 billion euros in the same period in 2006. Revenues grew 34 per cent to 15.7 billion euros ($22.9 billion) as Nokia sold a record 133.5 million handsets - up 27 per cent from the fourth quarter a year earlier. Nokia shares rose $2.57, or 7.9 per cent, to $35 in midday trading in the U.S.
The company said it expects the cell-phone market to grow some 10 per cent globally in 2008, but warned that January through March would see a slight decline from the last quarter of 2007. It also cautioned that the average selling price of Nokia devices - a much-watched indicator by markets - was down at 83 euros ($120) from 89 euros in the same period in 2006. It said that it expects "some decline" in prices in 2008.
Motorola Inc.'s shares plunged more than 23 per cent Wednesday after new CEO Greg Brown said the recovery of its ailing handset division will take longer than expected. The U.S.-based handset maker, which last year lost the No. two spot to South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co., said net profit fell 84 per cent in the fourth quarter and mobile phone sales were down 38 per cent. Research firm Strategy Analytics also estimated that Nokia's market share had reached 40 per cent, compared to Samsung's 14 per cent. It put Motorola at 12 per cent - its lowest level since 2001. Sony Ericsson and LG Electronics rounded out the top five with nine per cent and seven per cent market shares, respectively.
Sour??e: The Canadian Press