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Nokia sales

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Nokia Sales Increased 4% in Quarter
HELSINKI, Finland — The Nokia Corporation, the cellphone maker, said on Thursday that profit fell 61 percent in the second quarter from the period a year ago, when it booked a large gain from its network joint venture with Siemens.
In an earnings report that came in above expectations, Nokia slightly upgraded its forecast for the cellphone market in 2008, and said it expected to keep growing its share of the market. Four in 10 cellphones sold worldwide are now made by Nokia.
Profit was $1.75 billion, or 46 cents a share, down from $4.49 billion, or $1.14 per share, a year earlier. Sales rose 4 percent to $20.87 billion.
The 2007 second-quarter result included a $2.98 billion gain from the formation of Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture with Siemens of Germany.
Excluding special items, Nokia said its profit rose 8 percent to $2.18 billion.
Analysts expected earnings of 56 cents a share on $20.05 billion in revenue, on average, according to Thomson Financial.
“Nokia’s profitability was a nice surprise,” an analyst at Glitnir Bank, Michael Schroeder, said, adding that profit margins in both the cellphone and the network divisions were higher than expected.
The company said its share of the global market for handsets grew to 40 percent, from 38 percent in the second quarter of 2007. It also upgraded its forecast for the global handset market, saying mobile device volumes could grow more than its previous estimate of 10 percent.
“Looking at the rest of the year, we are optimistic and have had good feedback about the broad range of new products we expect to sell in our device business,” the chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said in a statement.
However, the closely watched average selling price of Nokia phones continued to fall because of higher volumes of cheaper phones sold in emerging markets and a negative impact of the weak dollar, Nokia said.
The average price for a Nokia handset was $117, down from $125 in the first quarter of the year and $143 in the second quarter of 2007.
In terms of volume, company had its biggest sales growth in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. Sales of Nokia phones were up 10 percent in North America and flat in Europe.

The New ‘Odd Couple’

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The New ‘Odd Couple’: Microsoft and Icahn
By Vindu Goel
In the latest salvo in the proxy fight for control of Yahoo, the company is urging shareholders to beware of the “odd couple” — Microsoft and the corporate raider Carl C. Icahn — who are locked in a “marriage of convenience” but have no clear plan for what they would do if they took control of the board.
Who’s Oscar and who’s Felix in this scenario? Yahoo didn’t say, and frankly, we can’t keep track of all the analogies in this fight. Last we heard from Jerry Yang, Yahoo’s chief executive, he thought Mr. Icahn was a fox, Yahoo was a henhouse and Steve Ballmer of Microsoft was, well, just trying to undermine Yahoo’s business (perhaps that makes him a rapacious farmer).
Read more about Thursday’s filing on The Times’s DealBook blog.