Fitch drops Nokia's credit to junk status; Nokia responds

The financial issues at Nokia have caused one of the the major ratings companies to downgrade the smartphone maker severely. Reuters reports that today, Fitch Ratings changed its credit rating of Nokia down to "junk" status. In its statement, Fitch say that Nokia was still having serious financial issues, even though Nokia claims it will improve, adding, "Given the potential headwinds facing the company, Fitch is currently not convinced that Nokia can attain this over the course of 18 months."

Nokia's stock price went down 2 percent on the news of the credit rating downturn. In response, Nokia sent out a press release with this statement:

We are quickly taking action to position Nokia for future growth and success. Nokia will continue to increase its focus on lowering the company's cost structure, improving cash flow and maintaining a strong financial position.

Nokia added that in terms of its finances it "remains strong" with a net cash amount of 4.9 billion euros. However, Fitch believes that Nokia's cash could be drained over the next 18 months unless things improve.

Last week, Nokia recorded a loss of 929 million euros for the first quarter of 2012. Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop also admitted last week that sales of its Lumia line of Windows Phone-based smartphones "have been mixed" with better sales results in the US compared to the UK. The early sales success of the Lumia 900 in the US could help Nokia. Even Fitch said today, "The launch of the new Lumia phone with AT&T, and the potential launch of new Nokia products later in the year, could be positive for Nokia's credit profile."

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