Nokia Oyj rose 1.4 percent in Helsinki trading today after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its price target for the world’s biggest mobile-phone maker.
Nokia climbed 10.5 cents to 7.855 euros, valuing the company at about 29.4 billion euros ($40.8 billion). Goldman Sachs analysts including Tim Boddy today raised their 12-month price target for Nokia to 8.6 euros from 7.8 euros, citing a better device portfolio and demand for smartphones based on its Symbian 3 platform.
“We expect strong smartphone demand, healthy sell-in of Nokia’s new Symbian 3 products and an improved basic portfolio,” the analysts wrote in the report. That will “boost the company’s near-term earnings,” they said.
Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop, who took charge last month, is looking to turn around a slide in Nokia’s share of the lucrative smartphone market with new phones and software that can compete with devices such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone and phones from Samsung Electronics Co. The N8 smartphone, which Nokia is pitching as a competitor to its rivals’ high-end devices, began shipping on Sept. 30.
Delays in the N8 have cost the company. It lowered its earnings forecast three times before managing to fulfill its promise of a third-quarter start for the N8, the first device in a new premium line running the revamped Symbian 3 software.
The company’s share of the world smartphone market declined to 37.4 percent in the second quarter compared with 45 percent in the same period last year, according to Gartner Inc.
While new products running Nokia’s Symbian 3 operating system will see “healthy” sales, “Nokia has lost the high-end consumer in the U.S. and Europe,” the Goldman analysts wrote. “Nokia is fast losing its scale advantage” and faces significant long-term risk, they added.