Nokia Ratings Cut to A- on Smartphone, NSN Fears

Fitch Ratings on Monday cut Nokia Corp.’s (NOK) credit ratings, citing intense smartphone competition and concerns over the Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) joint venture.

Nokia stocks had fallen .48 percent to $12.39 by 10:35 a.m. Eastern on the news.

Fitch slashed Nokia’s long-term debt to A- from A, four levels above junk, or non-investment grade; this marked the second time since July that Fitch has implemented a ratings cut on Nokia’s debt. The outlook for the phone maker’s debt, however, is stable.

Fitch said it’s concerned about competition from the iPhone and BlackBerry, both of which boast faithful demographics Nokia has been unable to penetrate. Analysts also said device margins aren’t likely to soon get back to past levels, while expressing fears about the “significant challenges” NSN faces. In the third quarter, Nokia reported losses that stemmed largely from a charge on NSN.

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