Nokia Rises 4% After Selling HQ
Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is up more than four percent today after announcing that it has sold its headquarters in Espoo, Finland for 170 million euros. Nokia will lease back its head office building -- where it has operated since 1997 -- after the sale is completed at the end of the year.
"We had a comprehensive sales process with both Finnish and foreign investors and we are very pleased with this outcome," Timo Ihamuotila, CFO of Nokia, said in a company release. "As we have said before, owning real estate is not part of Nokia's core business and when good opportunities arise we are willing to exit these types of non-core assets. We are naturally continuing to operate in our head office building on a long-term basis."
Despite the ongoing challenges of competing against Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Samsung, Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), HTC and other smartphone manufacturers, Nokia remains one of the world's largest producers of cellular devices.
Year-to-date Nokia is down more than 33 percent. The company lost more than 64 percent of its value over the last two years and has declined more than 91 percent since December 2007. While it may never return to the glory days of April 2000 (at which time Nokia achieved its all-time high of $56.06), Nokia has shown signs of a recovery. The company has risen more than 44 percent in the last three months.
In addition to the sale of one of its most important assets, Nokia has announced that it will release a third Windows Phone 8 device -- the Lumia 620. The lower-priced device will retail for $249 and will come in a variety of colors, including lime green, orange, magenta, yellow, cyan, white and black. Nokia has yet to announce if any of the colors will be limited to a specific region.
The Lumia 620 will use a new dual-shot color technique that allows Nokia to add a second layer of colored, transparent or translucent polycarbonate on top of a base layer "to produce secondary color blends and depth effects." The smartphone will also feature seven different exchangeable shells.
As a cheaper device, the Lumia 620 is limited to a 1 Ghz dual-core processor from Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM), a 3.8-inch TFT WVGA display (with 800x480 resolution), a 5MP rear-facing camera and 8GB of storage space. Users can pop in a Micro SD card to add an additional 64GB.
The Lumia 620 is expected to ship in Asia next month, followed by a rollout in Europe and the Middle East before arriving in other territories.
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