Nokia Corp. must look like a tantalizing stock to a deep, deep value investor...somewhere. The company has an impressive global market share for its handsets, the brand name is strong and the American Depositary Receipts come with an impressive dividend yield of 5.5 per cent.
The stock's track record is another story, though. Just about any way you approach the share price over the past decade, the result is the same: Down. This year, the shares have slipped 29 per cent. They're down 26 per cent over the past 12 months. From the high in April, the shares are down 42 per cent. From their previous high in 2007, they're down 66 per cent. And from their peak in 2000, the shares are down about 85 per cent.
Down isn't always bad, of course - at least, if you have guts of steel, you believe in a company's long-term prospects and if you believe that its bad times are merely short-term challenges. Hey, Apple Inc. pulled off the turnaround of the century when it began selling iPods and iPhones.
But there's something about Nokia that just looks downright depressing. In its quarterly report, released on Thursday, it reported that net earnings fell 40 per cent from last year, with the popularity of the iPhone taking much of the blame.
Speculation has been swirling for some time about the future of Nokia's chief executive, who took the top spot in the company a year before Apple launched its competing iPhone. Dow Jones reported on Thursday that Nokia is already looking around for a new leader.
As I said, somebody, somewhere no doubt sees a buying opportunity here.