Nokia Raises Outlook Amid Rebound in Phone Sales

Nokia (NOK) said Thursday its third-quarter revenue and profits would be better than expected, citing an increase in mobile phone sales. The news pushed its shares up nearly 6.5 percent in trading.

The world's biggest cell phone maker predicted that for the quarter ending Sept. 30, earnings per share would be between 13-16 cents, compared with a previous estimates of 10-12 cents a share.

Based on sales during July and August, Nokia also said its revenue for the period would likely be $8.3 billion to $8.4 billion. In July, the company predicted its sales wouldn't top $8.2 billion for the third quarter.

The company also unveiled three new models from its fashion collection of handsets, all inspired by 1920s art deco styling and design.

The company said the collection, featuring the Nokia 7280, Nokia 7270 and Nokia 7260, blends old-world art deco styling with an edgy, modern day twist.

The company said the Nokia 7280 features a VGA camera and an active slide to answer or end calls with a flick of a wrist.

With the help of Nokia Collector (search), users can transfer photos, ring tones, wallpapers, music and videos from the Nokia 7280 to and from a Mac.

The Nokia 7270 also includes a VGA camera, a converter application, FM radio and fashion headset. Nokia said the Nokia 7260 includes features such as tri-band capabilities and a VGA camera.

But the company warned that its third-quarter network sales would likely slip. Nokia, based in Espoo, just outside the capital, Helsinki, will release its third-quarter results Oct. 14.

Shares of Nokia were up 7.32 percent to $13.64 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange (search).

"The global mobile device market has continued its strong volume growth in the third quarter 2004, and Nokia expects healthy sequential volume growth in its mobile device sales," the company said

"The company has been able to deliver mobile devices in higher volumes than previously estimated despite industrywide tightness in some components," it said, but added that it had also dropped handset prices to increase sales.

Nokia, the bellwether of the mobile phone trade, sells more than twice as many phones as its leading rival, the U.S. company Motorola (MOT). However, it has recently been losing ground to all other major cell phone makers.

Analysts have blamed Nokia for a lack of catchy designs and innovative new models — like the hugely popular folding "clamshell" models — and partnerships with operators.

Market researcher Gartner Inc. said in June that the Finnish company's global market share in mobile phones dropped to 28.9 percent in the first quarter of 2004 from 34.6 percent a year earlier.

Last week, however, Gartner said Nokia sales had again picked up and that it reached 29.4 percent of the global market in the second quarter of the year.