Nokia CEO vents frustration over short-sellers, stock whipsaw
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Nokia Corp. CEO Pekka Lundmark is one of many corporate chiefs who has been watching helplessly from the sidelines as their stocks have been whipsawed in the short-selling frenzy that has engulfed Wall Street.
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The volatility in our share price “has nothing to do with our business,” he told Bloomberg News. “As a CEO, what can I say? The only thing I can do is focus on my business.”
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Lundmark thinks stock-market regulators can do something, by closely reviewing trading rules in the wake of a short squeeze that sent his company’s stock price soaring.
Shares of the Espoo, Finland-based telecommunications provider skyrocketed by 56% to $6.55 apiece in the three trading days through Jan. 27 as members of the Reddit group WallStreetBets banded together to squeeze short-sellers.
Short interest in Nokia shares reached 59.55 million shares on Jan. 15, a 17% increase from the 50.52 million on Dec. 31, according to the most recently available Dow Jones Market Data.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met Thursday with the heads of the Federal Reserve, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to discuss what exactly is driving the extreme volatility in select stocks and the role the Reddit community may be playing.
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It’s unlikely the meeting will produce results in the near term, but it could pave the way for future rule-making.
Inquiries to Nokia by FOX Business were not immediately returned.
Nokia on Thursday morning reported fourth-quarter results that outpaced Wall Street estimates but warned the current fiscal year would be challenging due to a “significant decline” in its Mobile Networks unit and price erosion in North America.
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Shares were up 20% this year through Wednesday.
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