Nokia smartphone sales plunge 23%
HELSINKI - Mobile phone maker Nokia Corp. posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.38 billion yesterday as sales slumped 21 percent even as the company’s first Windows smartphones hit markets in Europe and Asia.
The loss, widened by a $1.31 billion loss booked on Nokia’s navigation systems unit, compares with a profit of $976 million in the same period last year.
Nokia said net revenue - including both its mobile phones and its network divisions - fell from $16.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010 to $13.1 billion, with smartphone sales plunging 23 percent.
Nokia has lost its once-dominant position in the global cellphone market, with Android phones and iPhones overtaking it in the smartphone segment.
The Finnish company is attempting a comeback with smartphones using Microsoft’s Windows software, a struggle that Nokia’s chief executive, Stephen Elop, characterized as a “war of ecosystems.’’
He said Nokia has sold “well over’’ 1 million such devices since the launch of the Lumia line in the fourth quarter, in line with expectations.
Holiday offerings boost Starbucks
SEATTLE - Starbucks Corp., the world’s largest coffee-shop chain, said first-quarter profit increased 10 percent as consumers bought more specialty beverages during the holidays.
Net income in the period ended Jan. 1 rose to $382.1 million, or 50 cents a share, from $346.6 million, or 45 cents, a year earlier, the Seattle-based company said. Analysts projected 49 cents, the average of 25 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Chief executive Howard Schultz spent more than a year planning merchandise and beverages for the holiday season. Starbucks sought to boost sales with a low-calorie peppermint mocha that was new this year, along with Via instant coffee and Keurig brand single-serve capsules.
“It was the most successful holiday season in our history,’’ chief financial officer Troy Alstead said. Customers loaded $500 million onto Starbucks gift cards in December, he said.
3M earnings inch upward
NEW YORK - 3M Co. said yesterday that its profit inched 3 percent higher in the fourth-quarter as more demand for products for the home, office, and automobile offset declining sales of high-tech products.
The maker of everything from Scotch tape to computer arms has been fighting to grow earnings amid a slowdown in key markets. Growth in developing countries, where 3M now derives more than half of its sales, is slowing. Weakness in Western Europe is also a headwind, 3M said, and it doesn’t know when things there will get better.
3M believes rapid growth in China and other emerging nations will resume in the second half of the year. The slowing pace of growth in those countries, although still robust compared with other parts of the world, was in part to blame for unexpectedly weak results at 3M in last year’s third quarter.
3M is maintaining its current profit forecast for 2012. The company said that it’s more confident in its ability to grow earnings than it was three months ago, but remains cautious.
The Maplewood, Minn., company said it earned $954 million, or $1.35 per share, in the final three months of 2011, compared with $928 million, or $1.28 per share, a year ago.
Revenue rose 6 percent to $7.09 billion.
Sales increase 76% for Bristol-Myers
NEW YORK - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. reported a 76 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit yesterday, driven in part by sales of a recently approved diabetes drug and hefty charges a year earlier, though the drug maker still fell short of Wall Street’s expectations.
The company focused attention on rapid sales growth for its three-year-old oral diabetes drug Onglyza, which increased 110 percent to $153 million. But results were dominated by two established products, blood thinner Plavix and the psychiatric drug Abilify.
Net income rose to $852 million, or 50 cents per share, up from $483 million, or 28 cents per share, in the 2010 quarter.
The New York company said fees and discounts under the US health care overhaul reduced earnings per share by 4 cents in the latest quarter. The year-earlier results were weighted down by $324 million in expenses, including charges for streamlining global operations, depreciation and shutdown costs, licensing payments, and a tax charge.
Adjusted income rose 12 percent to $906 million, or 53 cents per share, from $807 million, or 47 cents per share, for the same period of 2010. Total sales increased 7 percent to $5.45 billion from $5.11 billion.