What’s Next for Nokia?

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) published fourth-quarter 2012 and first-quarter 2013 outlooks on Thursday that, by the middle of the afternoon, caused nearly 250 million shares to trade hands, about five times its three-month average volume.

Trading was heaviest in the morning when the report hit the wires, but volume remains high in the afternoon. The analyses have shot back and forth across the media-scape all day, and a 17 percent jump in the stock price is telling one story: the bulls win this one. As for anyone with a short position — 280 million shares as of December 14 — you’re out of luck.

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The highlights of the report are better-than-expected sales and lower operating expenses, resulting in break-even or positive margins. This is a welcome development for a company that has been operating in the red recently, with margins as low as -11.50 percent.

Quarter Sep. 30, 2011 Dec. 31, 2011 Mar. 31, 2012 Jun. 30, 2012 Sep. 30, 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 12,420 12,950 9,629 9,227 9,486
Diluted EPS ($) -0.03 -0.37 -0.33 -0.47 -0.34

Nobody likes to see that much red on an earnings statement, but optimistic observers and long-term bulls have built a strong argument for the company’s position heading through 2013 and beyond…