Nokia Earnings Hammered by Merger Costs

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Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) reported first-quarter 2016 results before markets opened Tuesday morning. The company posted adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of three eurocents (about $0.03) on revenues of €5.6 billion (about $6.4 billion). In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.06 on revenues of $3.06 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.04 and $6.24 billion in revenues.

First-quarter results include the effects of the company’s $17 billion merger with Alcatel-Lucent. The company included pro forma results in its report.

Pro forma revenue in the prior year quarter totaled €6.1 billion. Nokia did not report a pro forma EPS comparison, but operating profit totaled €345 million, up 25% from a pro forma profit of €276 million in the first quarter of  2015. Regarding EPS, Nokia said that the quarter’s results reflected increased share count related to the Alcatel-Lucent acquisition and higher adjusted expenses due to unfavorable changes in the regional profit mix.

The company also said that it is beginning to reduce headcount as it works toward its announced cost savings target of more than €900 million by 2018.

Nokia also said it plans to close its pending €170 million acquisition of health care technology company Withings in the third quarter of this year.

CEO Rajeev Suri said:

While our revenue decline was disappointing, the shortfall was largely driven by Mobile Networks, where the challenging environment is not a surprise. We noted in our Q4 2015 earnings release that we expected some market headwinds in 2016 in the wireless sector and we continue to hold that view today. … Based on our current assessment, we expect a full year 2016 non-IFRS operating margin above 7% in the Networks business.

The company did not provide financial guidance, but analysts are forecasting second-quarter EPS of $0.07 and revenues of $6.76 billion. For the full year, consensus estimates call for EPS of $0.35 and revenues of $28.48 billion.

Nokia’s stock traded down about 3.3% in Tuesday’s premarket to $5.50, below the 52-week range of $5.61 to $7.63. The consensus price target on the stock is $7.29.