The company was also able to increase its cash reserves from $4.7 billion to $5.8 billion, which had slipped from a high of $7.2 billion in January 2012.
Device sales show promise, despite a year-over-year plunge from 113.5 million to 86.3 million. Sales of Nokia's Lumia Windows Phones jumped significantly, from 2.9 million in the third quarter to 4.4 million in the fourth quarter. The Nokia Lumia 920, its premiere smartphone, launched during the fourth quarter. Sales of its outgoing Symbian devices stood at 2.2 million.
[ Nokia is preparing the first Windows Phone to include a true PureView camera. Read about it here: Nokia Preps True PureView Windows Phone. ]
Total smartphone sales amounted to 6.6 million, up slightly from the third quarter's sales of 6.3 million, but down dramatically from the year-ago quarter's 19.6 million.
Nokia's numbers for North America paint a bleak picture: The company sold just 700,000 devices in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. combined. That's up significantly from the 300,000 it sold in the same region during the third quarter, but it pales compared to sales of competing platforms.
For comparison, Verizon Wireless alone sold 6.2 million iPhones during the fourth quarter. Apple sold 47.8 million in total, more than ten times the number of Lumia smartphones sold by Nokia during the fourth quarter of 2012.
It's worth discussing Verizon's sales because Nokia Lumia smartphones were sold by Verizon for the first time in the fourth quarter. Verizon has not sold Nokia phones in volume for years, and it's never sold a Nokia smartphone. Variants of the 820 are also available from AT&T and T-Mobile.
Although Sprint does not yet offer Windows Phones, it will later this year. However, the carrier has selected devices from HTC and Samsung, not Nokia.
At the end of the day, the performance of Nokia's Lumia devices suggest the company could have reached a turning point -- perhaps things will get better going forward. Considering some of the reports about exciting devices we'll soon see from Nokia, 2013 could be the year Nokia once again stands firmly on its feet.
Nominate your company for the 2013 InformationWeek 500 -- our 25th annual ranking of the country's most innovative users of business technology. Deadline is April 12. Organizations with $250 million or more in revenue may pre-register now to receive more information.