Published on 22.03.2024

Nokia Stock

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Nokia’s IPO

Nokia (ISIN: FI0009000681) has been listed on Nasdaq Helsinki since 1915. It is the oldest company still listed under the same name on this exchange. In 1994, Nokia also listed on the New York Stock Exchange and in 2015 on Euronext Paris. The stock is included in the main index of the Finnish exchange: the OMX Helsinki 25.

Company strategy and future

In 2020, Nokia announced a strategic shift to further focus on mobile networks to strengthen its competitive position. The challenging integration of Alcatel-Lucent took up a lot of management's time, causing the company to lose ground to Ericsson, Huawei Technologies and Samsung. Nokia’s management had to acknowledge that Nokia's 5G offering was not only inferior but also more expensive compared to the competition.

According to Pekka Lundmark, CEO of Nokia, the world faces significant challenges: environmental issues, resource scarcity, inequality and stagnant productivity. He believes that technology is an essential part of the solution. Therefore, Nokia expects an increase in critical networks. These are advanced networks that provide mission-critical services for businesses and societies. They are becoming increasingly important and extend to all corners of society. This means that Nokia's addressable market for critical networks with Communication Service Providers (CSPs), webscales and enterprises is also expanding.

Nokia aims to be the technology leader in the areas of CSPs and webscales, and it wants to be a trusted partner for critical networks. The company has a strong position in technologies that are important for critical networks, such as open and virtualised radio access networks and is on track to achieve a 100% cloud-native software portfolio.

One of the focal points of the strategy is to further expand capabilities the area of critical networks to secure technological and market leadership.

Nokia’s history

Nokia was founded in 1865 by Fredrik Idestam, a Finnish mining engineer. He started with a wood pulp mill in Tampere, the largest city in Finland after Helsinki. In 1871, Idestam built a second wood pulp factory near the village of Nokia. That's when he officially adopted the name Nokia. Over the years, Nokia grew into a conglomerate involved not only in wood pulp production but also in trading rubber boots, bicycle tires, televisions and gas masks.

In 1978, Nokia developed the DX 200, a digital telephone exchange, and later introduced a car phone to the market. In the early 1990s, Nokia made a strategic shift and focused entirely on phones and telecommunications, selling off all other business units. This strategic focus paid off as Nokia quickly became the global leader in mobile phones.

With its popular mobile phones, the Finnish company dominated the global mobile phone market from 1998 to 2011. In 2000, the company introduced the iconic Nokia 3310, which was known for its durability, long battery life and the addictive game Snake. With 126 million units sold, the 3310 was one of the best-selling mobile phones of all time.

However, when Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, Nokia's fortune quickly declined. The Finns were late in developing innovative smartphones and were overtaken by the successful models from Apple and Samsung. To turn the tide, Nokia entered a partnership with Microsoft in 2011. New Nokia phones ran on Windows instead of the company's own operating system. However, this partnership was not successful as the software was less user-friendly compared to Apple's operating system and Google's Android system, which Samsung's smartphones were equipped with.

As a result, Nokia missed the boat and saw its revenue decline rapidly. In 2012, bankruptcy seemed imminent. Under the leadership of the new CEO, Risto Siilasmaa, a complete company transformation was initiated. Nokia sold its mobile phone division, including patents, to Microsoft in 2013 for €5.44 billion. Afterward, the company focused entirely on network equipment and services. Earlier that year, Nokia had already acquired Siemens' 50% stake in the joint venture Nokia Siemens Networks. In 2015, Nokia acquired sector peer Alcatel-Lucent for €15.6 billion. The acquisition was paid in shares. Through this consolidation, Nokia became the largest producer of network equipment in the world after Ericsson. In 2015, the Finnish company sold mapmaker HERE for €2.8 billion to a consortium of German automakers, divesting its last non-core business.

The information in this article is not written for advisory purposes, nor does it intend to recommend any investments. Please be aware that facts may have changed since the article was originally written. Investing involves risks (e.g, price volatility, currency or liquidity risk). You can lose your invested funds. Consider your knowledge and experience when making investment decisions. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Markets are volatile and can fluctuate significantly due to economic, political, regulatory or other developments.

Sources: Nokia, Forbes, Bloomberg

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