The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: McGraw-Hill, Nokia, Apple, Google and Microsoft

   The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: McGraw-Hill, Nokia, Apple, Google and

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, May 2, 2012

CHICAGO, May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHP), Nokia
Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT).


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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

S&P Downgrades Nokia to Junk

McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHP)-owned rating agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) recently
downgraded the credit rating of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) to BB+ from BBB-. The
rating agency has also downgraded the company's short-term credit rating to B
from A-3. With this downgrade, Nokia's debt now falls under the junk category,
which is a notch lower than its previous investment grade rating of BBB-.

The company's poor first quarter results coupled with the news that Samsung
Electronics has surpassed Nokia as world's largest mobile phone maker was
mainly responsible for the rating downgrades.

Recently, Nokia announced disappointing financial results for first quarter
2012 based on increased competition from Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone
and a gamut of smartphones that runs on Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android
operating system. Nokia also faces stiff competition in the low-end segment
from Chinese manufacturer ZTE.

S&P also held Nokia's disappointing outlook for the second quarter of fiscal
2012 responsible for the downgrade. Recently, Fitch also downgraded Nokia's
credit rating to junk category while Moody's slashed it to near junk status.
S&P has warned that it could further slash the telecom giant's ratings if it
fails to improve its financial performance.

Currently, Nokia is in a transition phase, shifting from its own Symbian-based
feature phone to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) developed windows-based
smartphones. Sales has been slowing and as per data published by research firm
Strategy Analytics, Nokia has been overtaken by Samsung as the world's largest
mobile phone manufacturer, with 44.5 million smartphones sold in the first
quarter compared to Nokia's 12 million.

Moreover, Nokia's latest LTE-based Lumia 900 smartphone is facing some data
connection problems, which could hamper Lumia's success. To reduce its loss,
the company plans to trim down its costs, improve its cash flow and introduce
innovative new products.

Based on these measures, we believe Nokia plans to turn around its fortunes
and avoid any further downgrades. However, we remain very much skeptical
regarding the company's turnaround any time soon. 

We, therefore, retain our long-term Underperform recommendation on Nokia.
Currently, Nokia has a Zacks #5 Rank, implying a short-term Strong Sell

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