Shares of LM Ericsson (ERIC -1.50%) soared on Friday. The Swedish telecommunications infrastructure expert's stock rose as much as 14.2% thanks to a strong second-quarter earnings report. Ericsson cooled down slightly to a 13% gain as of 12:40 p.m. EDT today.
Ericsson's sales were flat year over year in local currencies. Converted to U.S. dollars, revenue fell 2% to $5.74 billion; the Wall Street consensus pointed to approximately $5.6 billion. Earnings landed at $0.08 per share, up from $0.06 in the year-ago period and just above analysts' expectations of $0.07.
CEO Borje Ekholm said that the COVID-19 pandemic has left Ericsson's financial results largely untouched so far, with orders for 5G equipment coming in fast. The company is taking steps to limit the human impact of the disease; 80% of Ericsson's workforce is working remotely.
Ekholm noted that the global health crisis has created uncertainties in the business environment but left Ericsson's full-year guidance targets intact until further notice. As a reminder, Ericsson expects full-year sales to stop near $24.3 billion in 2020. Management wants to raise its operating margin to 10% this year and at least 12% in 2022. Operating margins landed at 8.2% in this report, up from 7% a year earlier.
Ericsson's stock has gained a market-beating 10% in 2020 and 13% over the last 52 weeks.