Nokia Climbs as Company Sticks to Forecast

Nokia rose US$2.94 to $24.74 in morningtrading Thursday after the Finnish mobile-phone maker said that while salesgrowth in the first quarter is proving slower than expected, earnings are on track to meet company projections.

Nokia said it expects earnings of 0.19 euros per share for the first quarter endingthis month, in line with earlier projections.

Sales, however, will likely show a growth rate of about 20 percent, ratherthan the 25 to 30 percent previously thought, mainly because of U.S.”economic uncertainty” and “difficult market conditions” for mobile phones,the company said. Nokia Networks sales likely rose 30 to 35 percent, whilemobile-phone sales advanced about 15 to 20 percent.

Nokia said it expects to “aggressively” gain market share even aseconomic conditions remain challenging. Inventories at company warehousesand in sales channels are lower than at year-end, the company said.

Nokia said it will report first-quarter results and issue its outlook forthe remainder of the year on April 20th.

Nokia competitors Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) and Motorola (NYSE: MOT) havealso warned that results for the quarter will be hurt by a slowing economy.Motorola recently announced plans to cut jobs in order to reduce costs in itswireless-handset division.

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