Nokia may be going through a hell of a transition period, but it released its fiscal Q3 2013 earnings this morning just like clockwork. The Finnish phone maker (for now, anyway) reported net sales of €5.66 billion (or $7.79 billion) in the quarter ending September, along with a surprise profit of €118 million ($162 million).
To put it mildly, those are big, big gains over Nokia’s past performance — the company posted a €115 million loss last quarter, and a whopping €564 million loss this time last year. Meanwhile, analysts expected the Finnish phone maker to report earnings of zero cents per share (which happens to be in line the figure Nokia put up last quarter) and €5.9 million in revenue in the days leading up to the release.
There’s been a considerable amount of movement on the smartphone front as well, as Nokia reported selling 8.8 million Lumia devices in Q3, up from the 7.4 million sold last quarter and the comparatively dismal 2.9 million back in the year-ago quarter. Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop ascribed that growth to a slew of recent product releases and some savvy over-investment during its early Windows Phone days, but it probably doesn’t hurt that BlackBerry — the dark-horse candidate for the 3rd place spot in the smartphone race — has definitely seen better days.
But it won’t be long at all before the nature of these earnings releases changes on a fundamental level — after all, Microsoft announced back in September that it would acquire the entirety of Nokia’s Devices and Services business for $7.2 billion in a deal that’ll close in early 2014, so we’ll eventually see the remnants of Nokia focusing on its network and HERE Maps segments. That said, net sales for both divisions this past quarter were down sequentially (NSN, formerly Nokia Siemens Networks, was down slightly with €2.6 billion while HERE dipped to €0.2 billion), making for some generally flat year-over-year growth. That’s far from a bad thing in this case though — as The Verge’s Aaron Souppouris points out, a smaller Nokia that focused solely on networks and mapping would be even more profitable than the beast we see right now.
Meanwhile, that hardware shift wile eventually change the fortunes of both companies. The move is a big (if unsurprising) get for Microsoft, which has been cautiously shifting further into consumer hardware and could use a considerable boost for its Windows Phone platform. Of course, the announcement hasn’t exactly been bad for Nokia either — its stock price jumped shortly after the acquisition news broke and has largely stayed at those elevated levels through today.
That’s not to say that the New Nokia will never again churn out a phone though, as the company will regain to right to sell low-end feature phones in 2016.
This is a developing story, please refresh for updates.