The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Nokia, Microsoft, Apple, Research In Motion and Google

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Nokia, Microsoft, Apple, Research In Motion
                                  and Google

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Jan. 30, 2013

CHICAGO, Jan. 30, 2013 /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 Nokia Corp. (NYSE:NOK), Microsoft
(Nasdaq:MSFT), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL), Research In Motion Ltd. (Nasdaq:RIMM)
and Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG).


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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Nokia to Outperform

We are upgrading our recommendation on Nokia Corp. (NYSE:NOK) to Outperform
based on the company's fourth quarter of 2012 financial results, which
significantly outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimates.

Why the Upgrade

Nokia's flagship Lumia series of smartphones received reasonable market
traction in the lucrative North American region. Further, its mid-range Asha
series of full touchscreen phones also performed well in the emerging
Asia-Pacific region.

During the quarter, the company also improved its margins and cash position. A
strong balance sheet with nearly $6 billion of net cash and a powerful patent
portfolio will sustain the company's long-term R&D activities. Moreover, Nokia
Siemens Networks joint venture has shown signs of a turnaround. Nokia
currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other Positives

The Nokia-Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) combination may become a formidable
challenger to Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Nokia is utilizing its
expertise on hardware design and language support to innovate the Windows
Phone 7 platform in areas like imaging.

Microsoft will pay $1 billion to Nokia over a period of 5 years for the
promotional expenses of Windows-based smartphones. This will not only mitigate
the marketing expenses of Nokia but also have a positive impact on the
company's financials in the years to come.

Nokia has decided to lay off nearly 10,000 employees by the end of 2013.The
cost-cutting measures will result into $1.26 billion of restructuring charges.
However, the company will be able to save approximately $3 billion per annum
in its core Devices & Services segment.

In addition, Nokia-Siemens Networks has decided to reduce its headcount by
17,000, which is expected to result in an annual cost reduction of
approximately $1.35 billion by 2013. Divestitures of non-lucrative segments,
such as microwave transport and fixed-line broadband access businesses helped
the company to concentrate on its core business of wireless and fiber-based

Other Stocks to Consider

Other stocks to consider in the mobile handset market are Apple Inc.
(Nasdaq:AAPL), Research In Motion Ltd. (Nasdaq:RIMM) and Google Inc.
(Nasdaq:GOOG). While net earnings of Apple just managed to beat the Zacks
Consensus Estimate in the most recent quarter, Research In Motion and Google
both handily beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate. All these three stocks
currently have a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded
stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights
to developments that affect company profits and stock performance.
Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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