The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Nokia Corporation, Siemens AG, Google Inc., Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corporation

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Nokia Corporation, Siemens AG, Google Inc.,
                     Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corporation

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Jan. 14, 2013

CHICAGO, Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com 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 Nokia Corporation (NOK),Siemens
AG (SI), Google Inc.(GOOG), Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Microsoft Corporation(MSFT)

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Four daily picks
are offered free.

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Nokia Leaps on Lumia Show

The hard times for Nokia Corporation (NOK) witnessed in 2012 seems to be
partially over as the Finnish handset manufacturer reported a
better-than-expected performance in the fourth quarter of 2012 in its
preliminary financial report. Good shows by the company's flagship smartphone,
Lumia 920 along with the ongoing cost cutting initiatives are mainly
attributable for the impressive results.

Strong Performance in Fourth Quarter

This is for the first time in almost a year that the company is reporting an
increase in smartphone shipments.

The preliminary report shows that Nokia sold 4.4 million Lumia devices in the
fourth quarter of 2012 compared to only 2.9 million units in the previous
quarter, marking a sequential growth of almost 52%. Sales of smartphone and
total handset business stood at 6.6 million and 79.6 million respectively
compared to with 6.3 million and 76.6 million at the end of the third quarter
of 2012. The shareholders welcomed the news as the stock soared 18.67% on
Thursday to close at $4.45 at Nasdaq.

Financially also the company's device and service segment performed better
than the last quarter, reporting a sequential growth of almost 15%.

Nokia-Siemens Network (NSN) – the company's equal joint venture with Siemens
AG (SI), has also performed better than expected as the company is
concentrating on higher margin wireless network. Additionally, the company's
strategic policy of retrenching employees and selling its non-core units seems
to have helped the company, as it is all set to deliver solid financial
performance in the coming quarter.

Lackluster 2012

2012 has been a real bad year for Nokia as the company lost its title as the
world's largest cell phone manufacturer to Samsung Electronics. Amid stiff
competition from Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android and Apple Inc.'s (AAPL)
iOS-based phones, the company lost its smartphone leadership. To make matters
worse, the company's credit status was downgraded to junk and the company has
to cut as much as 10,000 jobs.

Are Good Times Really Back for Nokia?

It appears that the company's decision to join hands with Microsoft
Corporation (MSFT) is finally paying its dividend as the large screen Lumia
920 with some great imaging and mapping feature is attracting more customers.
Reportedly, Nokia witnessed supply shortages in several countries for its
Lumia 820 and 920, which otherwise could have yielded a better outcome.

According to research firm IDC, at the end of the third quarter, Samsung and
Apple have shipped 56.3 million and 26.9 million smartphones and also garnered
a far significant market share in the smartphone market. With Lumia 920
bringing in a fresh breadth of life for the company, we believe Nokia needs to
be much more consistent to turn the tables in its favor.

Things are really looking bright for the struggling handset manufacturer in
the last few days. But that does not mean everything has started to run
smoothly for the company. Despite the impressive Lumia performance, the total
handset sale in fourth quarter is expected to touch 86.3 million handsets,
down 24% from the previous year quarter. Along with it the quarterly sales of
$5.1 billion failed to match the sales figure of $7.8 billion, reported in the
fourth quarter of 2011. 

However, moving forward the company expects to overcome its supply shortages
associated with Lumia 920 and wants to expand in emerging markets like India,
which has been a strong hunting ground for the company. 

We maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation on Nokia Corporation.
Currently, it holds a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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