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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  NASDAQ OMX HELSINKI LTD.  >  Nokia Oyj    NOKIA   FI0009000681

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Defying Sluggish Global Trend, 1Q Mobile Sales Grow 16% In MEA -Gartner

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05/20/2012 | 06:02am CEST

(This story was originally published Thursday)

DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)--Defying signs of a global slowdown, sales of mobile devices in the Middle East and Africa rose 16% in the first quarter, fueled a growing appetite for smartphones, while embattled Nokia Corp. remains the region's top handset vendor, according to research firm Gartner.

"I think the performance for the Middle East Africa (MEA) region has been good compared to the overall trend we are seeing," Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner told Zawya Dow Jones by telephone late Wednesday. "Overall [global] sales in the first quarter were down 2% and that happened after 10 straight quarters of growth. If you look at MEA, the growth has been up 16% year-on-year."

Driving demand in the MEA region has been the increasing popularity of smartphones, with sales of the devices surging 35% in the first three months of the year, according to Gartner.

Samsung Electronics Co. is now the number one player in the smartphone space in the MEA region, after ranking fifth in the same quarter a year ago.

"They [Samsung] have done extremely well in this region and they have taken the share from other smartphone players and replaced other players like Nokia, RIM, and Apple," said Gupta.

In terms of overall mobile-handset sales however, Finland's Nokia is still the leader in MEA.

"It (Nokia) is having a good share in terms of the feature phones and smartphones combined," Gartner's Gupta said.

He also noted Nokia continues to perform well in emerging markets where smartphones have yet to really dominate.

"These countries smartphones sold are under 20% of the overall sales, so there is a huge potential. Still 80% of these markets is coming from feature phones. In those markets the local players and Chinese players and Nokia are strong," said Gupta.

Moving forward, Gupta said Samsung, who snatched the title of world's largest mobile-handset vendor from Nokia in the first quarter, could face stiff competition from cheaper Chinese smartphone makers in the coming quarters.

"Samsung has been growing significantly over the past few quarters. I am now seeing more competition coming from the local players and Chinese players," he said.

-By Shereen El Gazzar, Dow Jones Newswires; +971 444 61684; [email protected]

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Co.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
NOKIA OYJ 0.54% 4.87 Delayed Quote.24.40%
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO LTD --End-of-day quote.
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Financials (€)
Sales 2018 22 051 M
EBIT 2018 2 245 M
Net income 2018 107 M
Finance 2018 3 561 M
Yield 2018 4,14%
P/E ratio 2018 291,81
P/E ratio 2019 28,28
EV / Sales 2018 1,09x
EV / Sales 2019 1,06x
Capitalization 27 515 M
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 27
Average target price 5,39 €
Spread / Average Target 11%
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Managers
NameTitle
Rajeev Suri President & Chief Executive Officer
Risto Kalevi Siilasmaa Chairman
Joerg Erlemeier Chief Operating Officer
Kristian Pullola Chief Financial Officer
Marcus Weldon Chief Technology Officer
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