Nokia was hit with a class action lawsuit led by Robert Chmielinski in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York “on behalf of purchasers of Nokia securities between October 26, 2011 and April 10, 2012.” The suit charges Nokia and certain executives—CEO Stephen Elop and CFO Timo Ihamuotila—with violating the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. It says that investors were told and led to believe that their partnership with Microsoft and use of the Windows Phone platform would stop their slide in the smartphone market—a claim without any tangible results to back itself up.
Shares for Nokia have plummeted ever since they announced their partnership with Microsoft last year. Even the release of their flagship phone, the Lumia 900, has failed to make a meaningful, positive impact on the company’s finances. Also, the glitch in the Lumia 900 that forced the company to issue a $100 credit to purchasers certainly didn’t help the already mounting losses.
Nokia has issued a response regarding the complaint: “Nokia has become aware of the filing of a securities class action complaint naming Nokia Corporation as a defendant, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on May 3, 2012. Nokia is reviewing the allegations contained in the complaint and believes that they are without merit. Nokia will defend itself against the complaint.”
Nokia’s new chairman, Risto Siilasmaa, told reporters before a shareholder meeting yesterday, “I am confident that Nokia has the right team, right strategy and now increasingly also the right products on the market to get us through this transition period.”
The once dominant handset vendor has lost nearly a combined $3 billion in Q4 2011 and Q1 2012, and the immediate financial outlook for the company shows no signs of improvement. There is some optimism that the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 later this year could potentially help Nokia recuperate some of its losses and begin the company’s turnaround but, even if successful, the Finnish company still has a long road to recovery. Nokia will be entering the tablet market with Windows 8, and this move could have a major impact on the company’s future.