LM Ericsson Telefon AB says that it hasn’t lost a single network contract due to the continuing financial crisis in Asia. The Swedish company says that any infrastructure-related orders it may have lost recently came as a result of it simply not being competitive enough. Sales of mobile phones – far less a concern to the company’s top line in the region – have suffered slightly, though. Nevertheless, the general paranoia about Asia hurting profits has pushed Ericsson’s stock down 20% since October. Ericsson’s business in Europe and other western markets remains healthy, according to Deutsche Morgan Grenfell analyst Marc Cabi, who echoes the sentiment that things in Asia are progressing smoothly. Cabi sees the company’s growth outlook for 1998 standing steady at 20%. He reiterated Ericsson shares as a buy. Cabi also reiterated Finnish rival Nokia Oy as a buy, and thinks his forecast of 30% growth for FY98 could possibly be beaten. China is an increasingly important market for Nokia and Cabi says fundamentals there remain good.
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