Ericsson looks for faster growth; but TeliaSonera dampens hope

While Credit Suisse has promoted Ericsson shares from natural to outperform based on expectations that it will report better financial results when the company reports its Q1 results, the CEO remains only "fairly happy" with Ericsson's core strategy.

According to the newly appointed CEO, Hans Vestberg, the network infrastructure business was changing rapidly and Ericsson had to meet those challenges. He maintained that he had no plans for a near-term strategic overhaul and stuck to the aim of growing faster than the market as a whole.

"The important things for me are to invest long-term in the company, continue to grow faster than the market, make sure we have the best margins in the industry, generate our cash flow and make sure our joint-ventures deliver a result."

While Vestberg is becoming famous for saying much, but imparting little information, he might need to offer more detail when the Q1 numbers are reported next week.

Some analysts believe the overall infrastructure market will shrink, with the biggest effect coming in China and India, Ericsson's second and third biggest markets last year and where operators have warned of reduced investment.

Of little help to building stock market confidence was the report from TeliaSonera that its investments in new LTE networks have had little impact on its overall spending on equipment.

Lars Klasson, CTO at TeliaSonera, said the company planned to invest €70 million in LTE networks this year, but total investments are likely to change little. "If there is any rise, it will be small." TeliaSonera invested a total of nearly €2 billion in its networks last year.

For more on this story:
Total Telecom
& Reuters

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Ericsson maintains services lead, but upstarts growing fast
Ericsson highlights LTE advantages, as WiMAX wobbles
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