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3G/HSPA

Euro Vendor Q2 Previews

Second-quarter earnings season is well and truly with us, so what can we expect from the upcoming financials from Europe's major infrastructure vendors Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Nokia Networks ?

Well, the consensus appears to be that the mobile infrastructure market has been quite strong in North America in recent months and that should help AlcaLu, which reports its latest earnings on July 28.

"We expect the strongest near-term results from companies exposed to Wireless and Broadband Access and Layer 4-7 Application Networking," states MKM Partners comms equipment analyst Mike Genovese, who identifies AlcaLu among those set to benefit.

AlcaLu is also bigged up by George Notter at Jefferies & Company Inc. . He expects the Franco-American vendor's "operating results will benefit from accelerating sales of software upgrades for wireless networks," especially at Verizon Wireless , which is adding to its CDMA EV-DO Rev. A capacity, and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), which is bolstering its HSPA+ capabilities.

Notter expects revenues of €4.02 billion (US$5.7 billion), better than last year but slightly below average Wall Street estimates, but non-GAAP earnings of €0.07, higher than the average €0.02 expected by analysts.

Ericsson, which reports its second-quarter results early Thursday July 21, is another company set to benefit from mobile expansion in North America and is expected to report further year-on-year revenue growth following its impressive first quarter, with analysts on average expecting group sales of around 55 billion Swedish Kronor ($8.5 billion). That would be about 15 percent better than a year ago, though 2010's second quarter was hit by the tail end of the global economic downturn and supply chain issues. (See Mobile Data Fuels Ericsson's Q1 and Parts Problems Hurt Ericsson's Q2.)

The Swedish vendor's earnings will be tempered, though, by the recent reversal of fortune by its handset joint venture Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and its margins may once again be dragged down by 3G network sales in India. (See Sony Ericsson Blames Quake for Q2 Slump.)

For Nokia Siemens Networks, which has just resolved (at least for now) its ongoing investment saga, it's hard to know what to expect on Thursday (July 21), as parent Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) breaks out little in the way of financials for the company and the second quarter will be the first that will include income from the Motorola wireless assets acquired in April. (See NSN's Future Still up in the Air, NSN Fails to Find New Investor and NSN Finally Seals $975M Moto Deal.)

NSN, which doesn't have as great a U.S. presence as AlcaLu or Ericsson, reported sales of €3.2 billion ($4.55 billion) in the first quarter and was expecting sales in the range of €3.2-3.5 billion ($4.55-4.97 billion) for the second quarter. (See Nokia Posts Q1.)

All eyes will be on parent Nokia, though, which has been struggling to keep up with its smartphone rivals and which will likely also feel the supply chain impact of the Japanese earthquake, which hit Sony Ericsson's recent results.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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