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Nokia, Microsoft drop while Apple stock soars

While Apple stock is up over seven percent since its positive earnings report and conference call yesterday afternoon, both Nokia and Microsoft have released dourer reports about their financial outlook.

Microsoft said that it will lay off up to 5,000 people, about five percent of its workforce, over the next year and a half, according to the Seattle P-I. 1,400 of those jobs would be eliminated today. The news comes as the company announced earnings per share two cents less than their quarterly guidance -- 47 cents versus 49 cents -- on revenues of $16.63 billion. Analysts had expected revenues upwards of $17 billion.

Nokia today posted a 69 percent drop in profits for its last quarter [Ed. Note: source link broken]. Nokia stock earned 15 euro-cent per share in profit, compared with 47 euro-cent in the same quarter last year. Sales fell 19 percent to €12.66 billion, missing forecasts of €13 billion.

What can we take away from this? Perhaps this is understating things, but Apple appears to be doing very well against its competitors. In yesterday's conference call, the company announced that it had grown sales and revenue even in the face of challenging worldwide economic conditions. In both retail and iPod sales, much of the growth was outside the United States. Apple sold 88 percent more iPhones than they did the same time last year, although much of that may be attributed to pent-up demand for the iPhone 3G.

At midday, AAPL is $10 higher than its record-low close on Tuesday, trading at around $88 per share. Both NOK and MSFT are trading down about $1.65 each.

[Via Daring Fireball.]

Update: Sony, too: It's posting a record annual loss of $3 billion, and plans to close factories and lay off workers.

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