Nokia (NYSE:NOK) released quarterly results this morning for the fourth quarter of 2013. In light of these figures, the pending $7.4 billion all-cash sale of Nokia's handset business to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will turn Nokia into a reliably profitable going concern.

Adjusted earnings from continuing operations fell 27% year over year to $0.11 per share. On this basis, sales declined 21% to $4.8 billion.

Including the money-losing handset division, total Nokia Group earnings plunged 40% to land at $0.04 per share. Total sales fell 25%, stopping at $8.3 billion. This is the yardstick against which you should measure analyst estimates, which pointed to $0.04 of adjusted earnings on revenue of $8.6 billion.

Nokia said it sold 30 million Lumia handsets in the full-year 2013, about twice as many as in 2012.

The Microsoft deal is expected to close in the first quarter, pending the last handful of regulatory approvals. 99% of Nokia shareholders voted in favor of the sale.

"We are diligently working toward defining Nokia's future direction," said interim CEO Risto Siilasmaa in a prepared statement. "I am pleased with the progress we have made thus far in our strategy evaluation and excited by the opportunities ahead for each of our three continuing businesses: NSN, HERE and Advanced Technologies."

Siilasmaa underscored the Nokia Siemens Networks division's strong profitability and the "long-term transformational growth opportunities in the automotive market" for the HERE mapping service, formerly known as Ovi Maps.

At the time of writing, Nokia traded down 4.6% in pre-market NYSE action. The underlying stock to these American Depositary Receipts plunged 5.3% on the Helsinki market.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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