Nokia’s stock surged by 30 percent today, following the news late Monday night that Microsoft will acquire its devices division for $7.16 billion. The announcement quickly pushed the Finnish company’s stock up 40 percent, though it later dropped to close at $5.12, up 31.28 percent on the day.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s stock closed down 4.55 percent at $31.88 per share. The move, which follows an announcement from CEO Steve Ballmer that he will retire in the next 12 months, appears to be the culmination of several years during which Nokia has dominated the slowly-growing Windows Phone market. Microsoft now appears set on following Apple’s business model, designing both the hardware and software for its future smartphones.
The market’s reaction to today’s news should be viewed as just that, a reaction to the immediate news that Microsoft will pay Nokia $7.16 billion. Still, it’s clear that there’s some concern as to whether or not Microsoft can take Nokia’s assets and create a successful smartphone portfolio. Nokia was hobbled by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8, so we need to see how, if anything, changes.