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Nokia Shares Drop After Dividend Is Suspended

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia has axed its annual dividend for the first time in over 20 years, aiming to shore up its finances amid a fall in sales.

Shares initially rose on the news but have since dropped and are now down 4 percent.

The company also reported quarterly operating profit of 6 euro cents per share, in line with expectations.

"The board will be making a recommendation to suspend the dividend for this year, but based on the strength of our fourth quarter results and the decision around the dividend, we believe we are positioning ourselves very strongly from a liquidity perspective, going forward," Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop told CNBC.

Nokia, which earlier this month flagged a return to profitability on cost cuts and stronger sales of its Lumia smartphones, said on Thursday it finished the year with net cash of 4.4 billion euros ($5.8 billion), down 22 percent from a year earlier.

Elop said profit margins could be maintained and increased as Nokia introduces "more and more products that have flagship capabilities."

"We still have a lot of work to do to shift things in the right direction but we're pleased with the products we're bringing to market and the impact their having on our financial results," he said.

Technology

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