Ericsson Crashes and Rest of Telecom Equipment to Follow

Definitely time to sell ERIC, QCOM, NOK, ALA, SI and NT.

Ericsson let loose this morning.  The Swedish telecommunications equipment maker cut its guidance for the third quarter, due to a fall in sales from its high-margin mobile network upgrades and expansion business. It said it expected the bad run to persist into 2008.

Ericsson said that sales for the third quarter 2007 were expected to come in at 43.5 billion Swedish kronor ($6.7 billion), or below consensus expectations of 45.4 billion ($7.90 billion). Operating income would fall to 5.6 billion Swedish kronor ($866.1 million), a massive 38% below the consensus estimate by analysts of 9.1 billion Swedish kronor ($1.4 billion)!   Net income for the third quarter of 2007 is expected to be 4.0 billion Swedish kronor ($618.7 billion), compared with a consensus forecast of 6.4 billion Swedish kronor ($989.9 million), and the year-before figure of 6.2 billion Swedish kronor ($928.1 million)!

The stock is down about 30% premarket in the US after having been down by 25% in Europe.

The fact is as follows.  The fundamentals of the mobile industry are no longer intact.  New subscribers are not joining networks anywhere outside of Africa.  Carriers are making their money off of reducing churn, adding subscribers from other networks, and so-called value added service migration.  As credit markets tighten, they will spend less on infrastructure.  The infrastructure that they buy will come from China.  Then, there is the disruption that WiMAX is clearly going to cause.

It isn't too late to sell them.  Sell ERIC, sell ALA, sell NOK, sell SI, sell NT.  Even sell QCOM (see my other article on this site).  If you want exposure to this area, buy CSCO, INTC and maybe MOT after earnings.  Alvarion is a risky play that I really like.

Aron Livrone
Aron Livrone: Aron is a 2008 Wharton MBA with a consulting background prior to moving from Sweden to the US to begin his MBA.

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  • Patsie Russo

    October 17, 2007

    Needless to say, this is good news for me keeping my job. If everyone else looks bad, I look good.

  • soczie

    October 17, 2007

    Your argument against investing in these stocks is compelling. ERIC, SI, ALA and NT certainly have a history of not being able to handle the downturns.

  • PhilR

    October 19, 2007

    Nokia is moving into services. It just announced the purchase of Enpocket, a mobile ad providers. It also purchased Loudeye last year. Together, they are building the infrastructure to play in the mobile ad, social networking space.

  • McLarty

    October 19, 2007

    You are dead off on Nokia my friend. It isn't in the same league as the others that you mention here. Never has been.

  • tim clinton

    October 20, 2007

    Nokia today has exited the telecom equipment business, with the exception of a small JV that they have with Siemens, so I don't think that the parallel is there. You are right about all the others. While you may not be right about the reasons for selling Nokia, it is a sell and here is the reasons. They are selling the most expensive handsets (average selling price over EUR85) in emerging markets - and all the money sloshing around these markets is about to disappear.

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