Nokia's Q3 Profit Beats Estimates, Company Plans To Cut 1,800 Jobs

Nokia this morning reported a third-quarter profit that handily beat analysts’ estimates. The company also said it would cut 1,800 jobs worldwide, sending shares soaring.

In the first results since the company named Stephen Elop CEO, Nokia reported net income of 529 million euros, from a loss of 559 million euros a year earlier.

Sales rose (again) to 10.3 billion euros from 9.81 billion euros, and the company shipped some 110.4 million devices.

In a separate statement, Nokia said it will henceforth focus solely on the Qt framework framework and support for HTML5.

Nokia says the decision to focus on Qt as the sole development framework will ensure that apps will continue to be compatible with future evolutions of Symbian as well as upcoming MeeGo products.

Nokia Ari Jaaksi VP, the guy in charge of MeeGo devices, recently resigned from the company, following in the footsteps of Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s former smartphone champion.

Nokia also announced that it will “streamline operations” in product creation in Nokia’s Symbian Smartphones organization, as well as Nokia’s Services organization and certain corporate functions. The plans are expected to result in a reduction of up to 1,800 employees globally.

At September 30, 2010, Nokia says it employed a total of 131,553 people, of which 66 090 were employed by Nokia Siemens Networks.

In Symbian Smartphones, Nokia says it plans to increase responsiveness to consumer demands and reduce time to market:

This includes expanding the use of common tools for application development, streamlining software development, simplifying and consolidating operations and placing greater focus on adding value to consumers. The changes target increased competitiveness and support building an attractive and sustainable platform for application developers.

In addition, the company’s Services organization will henceforth be focused on delivering an integrated Ovi experience across its full range of devices in an effort to provide more compelling Ovi services to consumers.

As certain activities are planned to be discontinued and integrated, Nokia says it will also cut certain corporate functions and corporate research activities.

As you probably know, Nokia continues to struggle to keep pace with rivals like Apple and Android-device makers, retaining its focus on Symbian while Android is growing and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 just entered the field. Recently, the company started shipping its new line-up of smartphones based on the upgraded Symbian^3, including the flagship Nokia N8.

Big changes are needed, but today’s announcements bring forward the billion dollar question: too little, too late?

To conclude, here’s the quote from Nokia’s new CEO, Stephen Elop:

“In the five weeks since joining Nokia, I have found a company with many great strengths and a history of achievement that are second to none in the industry. And yet our company faces a remarkably disruptive time in the industry, with recent results demonstrating that we must reassess our role in and our approach to this industry.

Some of our most recent product launches illustrate that we have the talent, the capacity to innovate, and the resources necessary to lead through this period of disruption. We will make both the strategic and operational improvements necessary to ensure that we continue to delight our customers and deliver superior financial results to our shareholders.”