Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has been working through a massive cost-cutting downsizing program, laying off thousands of employees, closing plants, and outsourcing operations. Today comes news of another consolidation: the company is delisting from the Frankfurt stock exchange in Germany.
The news comes one day after the company announced restructuring at Nokia Siemens Networks, its network equipment and services JV with Siemens, announced layoffs of 17,000 as part of a wider restructuring effort. That announcement does not appear to be connected to today’s delisting announcement.
The company says that it has applied to stop trading in Frankfurt because of the “decreased trading volumes” of its shares at the exchange, which currently represent only a small percentage of the total volume being traded globally.
Once delisting, it will mean that Nokia’s stock will only be traded on two exchanges: on the Nasdaq OMX Helsinki Stock Exchange and in the U.S., in the form of American Depository Shares, on the New York Stock Exchange.
Nokia remains the biggest mobile phone maker in the world, but its fortunes have turned downward in the last 10 years as its leadership position has declined, particularly in the high-growth and higher-value area of smartphones, where it faces competition from a number of Android-based handset makers like Samsung, HTC, LG (SEO: 066570) and others, as well as Apple.
The company’s share price in Frankfurt (and elsewhere) been in decline over the last 10 years, but it has taken especially strong hits more recently as it has tried to turn around the company, by adopting the Windows Phone platform from Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) in place of its own Symbian platform (which has been outsourced now to Accenture).
The first fruits of that new partnership are just now making their way to the market, but although the first device, the Lumia 800, is getting some great reviews, others are casting doubt on how well they are selling.
Here’s the share price for Nokia in Frankfurt over the last 10 years (via Yahoo):
Over the last several years, Nokia has delisted from other stock exchanges, including London in 2003; Paris in 2004 and Stockholm in 2007, the cost benefits of that made possible by the move to electronic trading that does not require presence at specific exchanges.
Nokia says that it is now applying to the Management Board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Subject to approval, it expects to delist from Frankfurt in the first half of 2012.