Stupid Stock Move of the Day! Nokia up?June 8, 2012: 3:19 PM ET
Welcome to summer Fridays! Nokia (NOK) takeover rumors seem like your classic case of bored trader gossip. Nokia has been struggling for awhile in the mobile phone market. Its new Lumia phones have been fairly well received but it is probably too little and too late for Nokia to supplant Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and the army of devices running on Google's (GOOG) Android.
Why would the company be an attractive M&A target? I guess you can point to the fact that Motorola Mobility was bought by Google. But that was more about patents than the company's Droid phones. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) bought Palm a few years ago -- only to shut it down. Reseach in Motion (RIMM) seems to be shopping itself. Good luck with that.
There's a reason why Nokia's stock is down 38% this year and nearly 90% over the past five years. The world has moved from so-called feature phones (aka dumbphones) to the mini-computers that most of our phones now function as. Nokia missed the boat. It's now aligning itself with Microsoft (MSFT) and some may argue that because Nokia CEO Stephen Elop used to work for Mister Softee, he may be amenable to selling the company outright to his now partner and former employer. I don't buy it though. Nokia's market value is still about $11 billion. That makes it an expensive buy even for Microsoft.
But the other rumor that was going around Friday made even less sense -- chatter that Korean giant Samsung could buy Nokia. What the Helsinki is up with that? For one, a Samsung-Nokia deal would make little strategic sense since Samsung is firmly in the Google Android camp. There's also the fact that even though Nokia's market share has been falling, it's still number two in the world in overall phone sales (including those less sexy feature phones.) Nokia actually just lost the leadership spot. To Samsung.
I may not be a lawyer but I don't think you need to read too many books on anti-trust regulation to predict that regulators around the world would not look kindly on a Nokia-Samsung marriage.