Original article: Nokia downgraded amid fears of prolonged transition
Credit rating service Standard & Poor's has downgraded Nokia for the first time over fears of further market share losses before WP7 products appear, and worries over the success of the devices.
The agency also expects weak operating margins this year, as Nokia's painful period of transition from its traditional architectures to new devices is prolonged by the decision to switch to WP7. Until the vendor actually releases convincing new high end products, its perception woes will continue.
Standard and Poor’s expects Nokia to report broadly flat revenue during the period when it is developing products running the new operating system. Nokia aims to launch its first WP7 handset before year end, but this is understood to be an interim device - we will have to wait until mid-2012 for the full new user experience and product family promised for the new Nokia platform.
Though Nokia will continue to roll out Symbian models, especially for their emerging market strongholds, S&P expects that OS to be hit by heavy competitive price pressure as it focuses increasingly on the mass market, where it will meet low cost suppliers of Android or Java handsets.
The agency has Nokia at A-, four rungs above junk territory, with a stable outlook.
By contrast, Goldman Sachs has upgraded its rating of Nokia stock, prompting a 4.67% rise in the share’s value. The analysts argue that a valuation floor has been established.