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Nokia posts $196 million loss amid otherwise encouraging results

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Nokia Q1 2013 earnings
Nokia Q1 2013 earnings

After a brief return to profitability last quarter, Nokia has posted a small loss in Q1 2013. The company's operating loss was €150 million (roughly $196 million) on €5.85 billion ($7.65 billion) in revenue over the quarter, but despite the losses, today's financial results are definitely encouraging. As Nokia itself predicted, its Devices and Services division recorded a slight loss of €42 million ($55 million), and its HERE mapping division lost €97 million ($127 million), but those losses were offset by very positive results from Nokia Siemens Networks, which turned last year's €1 billion ($1.31 billion) loss into a €3 million ($3.92 million) profit.

Compared to this time last year, when Nokia posted an operating loss of €1.34 billion on €7.35 billion revenue, it's clear that the company's restructuring efforts have not been in vain. Nokia's cash-on-hand and other liquid assets also rose during the quarter, from €4.37 billion ($5.69 billion) to €4.48 billion ($5.85 billion).

Nokia's work is nowhere near finished, but it's moving in the right direction

Shipments of Nokia's Lumia Windows Phones increased from 4.4 million last quarter to 5.6 million, which represents an all-time high since Elop made the decision to switch to Microsoft's then-fledgling smartphone platform. Sales of "Smart Devices" in general again dropped quarter-over-quarter, from 6.6 million to 6.1 million. That drop is due to Nokia ramping-down of sales of Symbian devices, which is reflected in an increase in the average selling price of a Smart Device from €186 ($243) to €191 ($249) — Lumias have a higher margin than Symbian devices.

Speaking on today's results, Elop said he was pleased that Nokia has "achieved underlying operating profitability" for a third consecutive quarter. He says "people are responding positively to the Lumia portfolio," but noted "our mobile phones business faces a difficult competitive environment." Elop and Nokia Chief Financial Officer Timo Ihamuotila will be answering investor questions at 8AM ET, and we'll be on the call to bring you any further news.