Prices of Nokia shares climbed as much as 5% today, due to upgraded analyst estimates and speculation about a new chairman.
Nokia’s current chairman, Jorma Ollila, who served as its CEO from 1992-2006, is set to step down in May this year. A Finish newspaper claimed that Risto Siilasmaa, who has been on Nokia’s board for two years, is set to become the new chairman. Siilasmaa founded the security firm F-Secure and is currently chairman of the Finish telco Elisa, but is little known outside of Finland.
However, Bloomberg cites an analyst who says that “Siilasmaa is one of the few people on the board with a technology background and should be able to support and challenge the CEO” and that “he has probably been instrumental in the companyâ€™s strategic change”, meaning the transition to Windows Phone, and notes that, since he’s only been on Nokia’s board for two years, he “canâ€™t really be blamed for past mistakes”.
Furthermore, Credit Suisse upgraded Nokia stock from “underperform” to “outperform” and raised price estimates from 4 to 6 euros, saying that, thanks to its focus on Windows Phone, it “fundamentally” believes in a recovery in both sales and earnings this year.
Reuters also provided an overview on the situation of OEMs that manufacture Nokia smartphones, with “Compal’s strong comments relieving some of the worries” about sales of Nokia Windows Phones in the fourth quarter of last year. This certainly lines up nicely with data from StatCounter, which shows a massive increase in Windows Phone use after the Lumia 710 and 800 were released in Europe.