Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is trading higher today on what is probably nothing more than additional bad news for the company, if you read between the lines. The troubled phone maker’s Nokia Siemens Networks mobile network equipment venture is reportedly in talks to sell off its business support systems unit.
There is also word that Nokia now may launch its new Windows-based smartphone before year-end, rather than at an unknown time.
The venture was formed by Nokia and Siemens (NYSE: SI) back in 2007 and profitability has been hampered by competition, according to Reuters. The same report from Reuters has the Nokia Siemens CEO saying that venture wants to unload and divest some more of its product lines so that it can focus on mobile broadband. Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) is speculated to be the likely winner, but in reality there may be five or six potential buyers.
On the issue of getting the smartphone out before the end of 2012, this is highly important if Nokia wants any traction. If Nokia misses the holiday season then it can kiss the smartphone market share goodbye for 2013.
Investors are hoping that Nokia does something right here, as shares are up more than 4.5% at $2.75. But note that trading volume is only 12.5 million shares, versus an average daily volume of almost 54 million shares. The 52-week range is $1.63 to $7.38.
JON C. OGG