Nokia, which is preparing to fight its way into the smartphone market with the launch of its first Windows phones next week, said it sold 89.8 million basic mobile phones compared to expectations for 67.0-89.7 million.
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The struggling Finnish handset maker reported third quarter underlying earnings per share of 0.03 euros, compared with a forecast loss of 0.01 euros in a Reuters poll of analysts and a profit of 0.14 euros a year ago.
Shares in Nokia jumped on the surprise profit number, up 6 percent at 4.75 euros by 1013 GMT.
Nokia, left in the dust by Apple <AAPL.O> and Google <GOOG.O> in the booming smartphone market, will introduce its first new models using Microsoft's <MSFT.O> Windows Phone platform next week in London.
It unveiled the Microsoft deal in February and has since struggled with a fast decline in smartphone sales as it has tried to sell models using old Symbian platform.
While the outlook for consumer spending has worsened in recent weeks, analysts have changed their fourth-quarter cellphone sales forecasts only slightly, with a Reuters poll showing they expect a historically normal 12 percent quarter-on-quarter rise.
(Reporting By Tarmo Virki; Editing by Sophie Walker and Chris Wickham)