Nokia reports surprise first-quarter loss

The networks industry — dominated by Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei — has been battered by years of slowing demand since 4G network sales peaked in the middle of the decade. (Reuters)
Updated 25 April 2019
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Nokia reports surprise first-quarter loss

  • Nokia repeated its January forecasts for ‘flattish’ market in 2019
  • The networks industry has been battered by years of slowing demand since 4G network sales peaked in the middle of the decade

HELSINKI: Finnish telecom network equipment maker Nokia reported a surprise quarterly loss on Thursday, citing hard competition in its core networks business.
“The slow start to 2019 and expected weak overall first half puts significant pressure on execution in the second half,” the company said in a statement.
Having signaled back in January “a particularly weak Q1,” Nokia reported a fall to an operating loss (non-IFRS) of €59 million ($66 million) from a profit of €239 million in the first quarter a year ago.
That compared with analysts’ profit expectations ranging from €175 million to €457 million in a Reuters poll.
Nokia repeated its January forecasts for “flattish” market in 2019, and for its 2019 earnings per share of €0.25-€0.29, and 2020 EPS of €0.37-€0.42.
The networks industry — dominated by Nokia, Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei — has been battered by years of slowing demand since 4G network sales peaked in the middle of the decade.
It is now readying for a new cycle of network upgrades as operators have started to invest in 5G equipment.
Last week rival Ericsson posted January-March quarter profit that swept past forecasts due to strong growth in North America and cost cuts, spurring the Swedish firm to lift its outlook for the global telecom networks market.
Some analysts say Nokia and Ericsson might benefit from challenges faced by Huawei after Washington alleged its equipment could be used by Beijing for spying, but Nokia warned the competition could be harsh.
“Competitive intensity could increase in some accounts as some competitors seek to take share in the early phases of 5G,” Nokia said.


Saudi Aramco signs US LNG deal with Sempra

Aramco, the Saudi state oil giant plans to become a major global gas player while the US market is undergoing a shale boom. (File/AP)
Updated 50 min 38 sec ago
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Saudi Aramco signs US LNG deal with Sempra

  • Aramco has been developing its own gas resources
  • The proposed Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project is expected to include two liquefaction trains

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco has entered into a 20-year agreement with US-based Sempra Energy to purchase liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its subsidiary Sempra LNG, the two companies said on Wednesday.
The Saudi state oil giant plans to become a major global gas player while the US market is undergoing a shale boom.
Aramco has been developing its own gas resources and eyeing gas assets in the United States, Russia, Australia and Africa.
The two companies are also finalizing a 25 percent equity investment in the phase 1 of Port Arthur LNG, they said in a joint statement.
The sale-and-purchase agreement is for 5 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG from phase 1 of the Port Arthur LNG export project under development, the firms said.
The proposed Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project is expected to include two liquefaction trains, up to three LNG storage tanks and associated facilities which should enable the export of about 11 mtpa on a long-term basis.
“Port Arthur LNG could be one of the largest LNG export projects in North America, with potential expansion capabilities of up to eight liquefaction trains or approximately 45 mtpa of capacity,” the statement said.
Aramco’s trading arm sold its first LNG cargo on the spot market in late March to an Indian buyer, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Aramco plans to boost its gas production to 23 billion standard cubic feet (scf) a day from about 14 billion scf now.