Share of Nokia (NYSE:NOK) are up about 5% today as the company is currently in the process of buying back shares. Yesterday, the Finnish technology company bought back 502,600 shares. The day before that, Nokia bought back 504,000 shares. As of today, the company owns 76.52 million shares and has purchased shares several times this month.
Nokia announced the initiation of its EUR 600 million share buyback program last February. The program received authorization to return cash to shareholders over a period of two years during the company’s annual general meeting last year. The first phase of the program, which has a maximum aggregate purchase price of EUR 300 million, started on Feb. 14 and will last until Dec. 22.
NOK Stock Trades Higher on Share Buyback News
The timing of the buybacks seems opportune. Shares of NOK stock have declined by about 15% in the past year and by about 20% in the past five years. A buyback program could certainly act as a catalyst to send shares higher.
Today, Nokia reported transferring 5.24 million shares “without consideration to participants of Nokia’s employee share purchase plan.” The board seeks to issue shares held by Nokia to “settle its commitments to participants of the plan as announced on 3 February 2022.”
During Q2, the company reported sales of EUR 5.87 million, up 11% year-over-year (YOY) and up 3% on a constant currency basis. However, gross margins shrank by 80 basis points, while research and development expenses increased to EUR 1.09 million.
CEO Pekka Lundmark added, “While we recognize the increased global macroeconomic uncertainty and currency fluctuations impacting some emerging markets, I am confident we have the right strategy in place to navigate these challenges along with support from structural technology adoption trends in 5G and fiber.”
Who Is Betting Big on Nokia?
Tracking institutional ownership is important, as these large investors provide liquidity and support for stocks. During Q2, 487 funds reported owning NOK, a decline of eight funds from the prior quarter. Meanwhile, the institutional put/call ratio tallies in at a low 0.18. This means that funds own significantly more call options against the company than put options. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top five shareholders:
- Artisan Partners: 77.79 million shares.
- Neuberger Berman: 33.37 million shares.
- Arrowstreet Capital: 23.89 million shares.
- Folketrygdfondet: 17.89 million shares.
- Bank of Montreal: 17.37 million shares.
On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.