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Nokia shares plummet after warning

Analysts slash price targets as stocks hit 13 year low

The share price for mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has continued to drop sharply, after the company admitted it was revising its full year forecasts.

Prices were down 4 per cent on Wednesday morning, after an 18 per cent drop the previous day, following Nokia's admission that second quarter sales would be 'substantially below' previous expectations of 6 to 9 per cent.

The company admitted that due to lower than expected sales it may only break even during the quarter. Nokia has claimed that it is no longer "appropriate" to offer annual targets for 2011.

"We would continue to avoid the stock as Symbian smartphone sales are falling off faster than expected and we are sceptical that new Windows Phone models will be able to replace lost profits," said Gleacher & Co. analyst Stephen Patel in a Reuters report.

"We see the earliest possible timing for the beginnings of a turnaround as the launch of new Windows products which we expect at the end of this year. Even then there are no guarantees that consumers will want what Nokia is selling," said J.P. Morgan analyst Rod Hall.

Hall recommended that investors remain underweight on their shares and cut its price target on shares from €5 to €4.25. Credit Suisse also cut its price target from €5.5 to €4.

Nokia's market share has seen a drastic drop over the last year, with Nokia criticised for remaining with the Symbian operating system despite intense competition from Android and iOS.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop famously categorised Nokia as being on a "burning platform", in a leaked memo to staff. Days later Nokia announced that it would be abandoning the Symbian platform in favour of Windows Phone 7.

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David Jenkins