Dear Nokia shareholders: Don't whine, sell

Dear Nokia shareholders: Don't whine, sell

Summary: Nokia shareholders are quite the whiny bunch in light of the Microsoft pact. It would be a better use of shareholder time to stop griping and sell Nokia shares.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Microsoft, Banking, Nokia
19

Nokia shareholders are quite the whiny bunch in light of the Microsoft pact.

To wit:

  • Waaahh. I don't like the Microsoft deal.
  • Boo hoo. I wanted a takeover.
  • Stephen Elop is a plant!
  • This Microsoft deal is the death of Nokia.

In an open letter, recapped by Sam Diaz on Tuesday, a group of nine young Nokia shareholders---unnamed to boot---wrote a letter to shareholders and institutional investors urging them to replace Elop.

This gang of nine, plans to challenge the Microsoft deal at Nokia's annual meeting. A plan B would revamp the company without becoming a commodity player. Update: This group of Nokia shareholders was a hoax.

I have a better idea. Shut up and sell your shares. This is reminiscent of Carl Icahn griping about Yahoo, getting a board seat and then trying to force change. In the end, Icahn did what he should have done---sell Yahoo shares. Icahn would have saved himself a lot of grief---and made more money---if he just shorted Yahoo to oblivion.

Institutional shareholders aren't going to listen to the gang of nine. Why? If they didn't like the Microsoft deal, they sold already. You have a vote. Your shares.

Previous coverage:

Topics: Microsoft, Banking, Nokia

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

19 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Dear Nokia shareholders: Don't whine, sell

    And so, they are doing. Nokia down 25% since.
    tatiGmail
  • Not very bright, hey sunshine

    Unfortunately, intelligence isn't a prerequisite to purchasing shares. Nokia's only success of late came from the developing countries. Earnings were bolstered by their 1100 series - the cheapest of the cheap. Their "smart phones" market share is diminishing rapidly. The majority of developers show no interest in Symbian. Hmmm...

    So a new CEO comes on board, identifies the problems and immediately takes steps in order to rectify the situation. A sensible investor would see this as a good thing. I don't have a Nokia phone, nor do I intend on purchasing one, but I think Windows Phone 7 is the best thing that could ever happen to Nokia.
    General C#
    • RE: Dear Nokia shareholders: Don't whine, sell

      @General C#

      Your name tells us everything about where *YOUR* biases may lie. The questions many folks are posing (which you ignored) are: 1) Is Win Phone 7 a viable platform; 2) Can Nokia make profits using it; and 3) Do we have any assurances that Elop, very-recently ex of Microsoft, made an unbiased assessment (or is he just the same sort of Microsoft partisan that you seem to be)?

      Frankly, I think the evidence leans towards 1) Probably not, 2) No, and 3) No, all of these much to Nokia's eventual harm.
      Atlant
      • Don't judge a commenter by his name

        @Atlant
        Yes, I am a C# developer, but that's just my day job. I've got an Android phone, and planning on moving to the new iPhone later this year. WP7 isn't on my list of things to get. Frankly, I don't care much for Microsoft. I think Ballmer is a bad CEO.

        Having said all of that, I do think that WP7 is a magnificent OS. There are tons of developers for the platform. By using WP7, Nokia gets an instant ticket to the west. There are less competitor in WP7 space and if Nokia plays the cards right, they'll become the #1 WP7 distributor. Less investment, more reward - sounds good to me.
        General C#
      • @#1 WP7 distributor

        "if Nokia plays the cards right, they'll become the #1 WP7 distributor"

        Hardly, if WP7 is a hit then it is public and hence a commodity, the cheapest handset maker will win and Nokia won't be able to distinguish itself. It's the same problem as if Elop had gone for Android.

        So either he's going to throw money at customizing a platform he doesn't control (not even forkable like Android), or more likely, he'll just put out a few handsets then jump ship again.

        I'm betting on the latter.
        guihombre
      • RE: Dear Nokia shareholders: Don't whine, sell

        @Atlant

        And those responses show where your biases may lie, doesn't it?.....

        You may very well be right about 3. But your responses for 1 and 2 are either mere speculation or not based in fact. Windows Phone 7 is quite a viable platform - developer interest is growing, and it's selling at quite a brisk rate for a new platform. And since Nokia hasn't released a Win Phone 7 platform yet, you can't basically say anything about 2.
        spacespeed
      • guihombre, that's your problem

        you hate so much, you don't see whats in front of you, just what you want to believe.

        Me, I said that going Android wouldn't help them as there are so many out there, its getting tougher to make any money on, and that's what Nokia needs.

        Funny, some people love to continuously point out about the "razor thin" margings on PC between manufactures because they're all selling the same product with the same OS yet they never take the time to look at the handset market with the same criteria:

        With Android stuffed onto so many hansets out there, and the competition what it is, I wonder how razor thin the margins are on handsets?

        How many Android phones will there be in 6 months?
        AllKnowingAllSeeing
    • RE: Dear Nokia shareholders: Don't whine, sell

      @General C#
      Agreed. Symbian used to be the leading platform and now it has lost all credibility. I haven't owned a Nokia for years, so I'm not sure why, but I always liked the old S60 platform. Any how.... Nokia needs an OS. It could go with Android, sure, but how does that distinguish Nokia from anyone else? With this deal, Microsoft gets a platform and Nokia gets an OS that isn't Android. It could be a winner, or it could make no difference whatsoever, but Nokia have always made some good phones (and some less good ones), they have a huge fanbase and if they can get their users to embrace the new OS they'll be laughing. A symbian emulation layer might be the icing on the cake?
      12312332123
  • Or fight

    If they think there's more value in the shares with Elop out of Nokia, then its up to them to fight for that to happen. <br><br>However a little look his history says he won't hang around long anyway, Juniper 1 year (announced leaving after 6 months, stayed to collect the bonus shares), Microsoft 2 years... he rides on the back of his predecessor, then walks before HIS changes have effect.<br><br>IMHO, dump, wait a year (maybe 6 months), try to buy before he announced his future departure, buy in again. <br><br>The company is basically sound, they'll lose a lot of engineers to Google, and perhaps Microsoft will cream off any it can. But the Finish engineers tend to be Geographically stuck, so they'll be good engineers there waiting for an empowering management.<br><br>Remember Apple? How people said Apple should make Windows PC's, how they were doomed. Jobs came along, empowered the staff, and now 'fail' is associated with Microsoft, and Apple are a shining star again. Imagine what they'd be like if they tried switching to Windows PCs!<br><br>Anyway, when you buy in, its a good idea to try to eject the board. A CEO's decision don't get reflected in the bottom line till after a long lag time, so I think they looked at Junpier's share price increase, associated it with Elop (he was CEO at the time, as if his decisions instantly impact the company profits). To me that indicates poor judgement at board level, and I think they're better off out of Nokia and working for HP where they'd be more in place.
    guihombre
  • 800 million euro project

    There is a good way for Nokia to recover soon.

    In april 2011 we will launch a solution to load electrical cars in less than one minute at a large technology event in France.

    It's the first large scale application with electrical cars and either Microsoft and Nokia or Google or Apple will benefit from it since our proprietary technology will support mobile phones to find the nearest gas station
    to load your electrical car.

    http://www.driveincharge.com for more details
    800millionproject
    • I call BS

      @800millionproject is a sham
      AllKnowingAllSeeing
  • RE: Dear Nokia shareholders: Don't whine, sell

    wow. some people really love to see Microsoft and Nokia fail.
    Good luck zdnet.
    Windows Phone 7 Rocks!!!
    iluvmsft
  • RE: Dear Nokia shareholders: Don't whine, sell

    Seems like a good time to buy Nokia shares ;-)
    tonymcs1
  • RE: Dear Nokia shareholders: Don't whine, sell

    Good point! Good Point! Larry
    erichmercado
  • RE: Dear Nokia shareholders: Don't whine, sell

    I think Windows Phone 7 at this point cannot help Nokia. Windows Phone 7 does have launch (sort of). It would be much better if they go the MeeGo routes since they co-develop it with Intel and I see some screenshots of it running on tablets and it looks good. App developers too can count on this since it's open source!
    erichmercado
  • RE: Dear Nokia shareholders: Don't whine, sell

    Exactly! These nine investors who are only a small group of shareholders should just sell and shut up. This was a smart move for both companies. It creates a win-win situation because one sells the hardware and the other the licenses. That is fine if these 9 investors don't want to make money, that is their mistake. The rest of us will be watching both companies grow bigger in the mobile market.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Dear Nokia shareholders: Don't whine, sell

      @Loverock Davidson

      Even better, the latest is that the nine shareholders are neither 9 nor shareholders. Apparently it was just some bored dude on a lark. :)
      SlithyTove
  • Exactly!

    Why try to make a change, or even see things in another way, when you can take your ball and go home?
    Michael Alan Goff
  • Let them sell their shares...and others buy them on the cheap

    Of course, if you do sell out your shares, you lose your say in the matter altogether.

    Both Nokia and Microsoft have had major blunders in mobile tech (Nokia's Engage game console/phone; MS's Kin). Yet both continue to try new things and play catch-up.

    Even if Nokia eventually goes bust with WP7 (and who's to say it won't be a hit in their hands?), they can always fall back on Android (no hard feelings, Google). So what if their phones become a commodity by then; most of them, cheap but reliable phones for the developing market, already are.

    Buy on the dip. Now is a perfect chance to invest in Nokia. (I'll refrain comment on MSFT shares for now, however.)
    Tech watcher