Nokia Plummets, Looks to US

The worldwide economic meltdown finally derailed Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), sending the company's fourth-quarter earnings down 69% and dropping its dominance of the global handset market to 37%.

In its earnings report Thursday, the handset and mobile services provider said its sales plunged nearly 20% to 12.7 billion euros ($16.4 billion) from 15.8 billion euros. Net profit was $744 million.

Even as its handset market share -- more than its next three competitors combined -- was in decline, the company predicted its market would rise again during the current year. While Nokia said it will continue to build out aggressively in global markets, it added that it will do so with a tightening budget.

"We are taking action to reduce overall costs and to preserve our strong capital structure," Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said in a statement. "This is clearly our top priority in the current economic environment. However, it is important for Nokia to continue investing at the proper pace in future growth."

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— W. David Gardner, InformationWeek

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