The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Nokia, Verizon Communications, Microsoft, Apple and Google

 The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Nokia, Verizon Communications, Microsoft,
                               Apple and Google

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, May 14, 2013

CHICAGO, May 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 (NYSE:NOK),
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq:MSFT),
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) and Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG).

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Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Verizon to Offer New Lumia

Smartphone manufacturer Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) is set to launch a new
Lumia 928 through the largest U.S. telecom carrier,Verizon Communications Inc.
(NYSE:VZ). It is believed to be an attempt by the Finnish company to gain a
meaningful foothold in the high-margin smartphone market within the U.S.

Lumia 928 is similar to Nokia's flagship Lumia 920 and possesses a 1.5GHz
processor, brighter 4.5 inch display and an 8.7 megapixel PureView camera with
Carl Zeiss lenses that allow sharp images even in low lights. The latest
smartphone is 23 grams lighter than Lumia 920 and runs on Microsoft
Corporation's (Nasdaq:MSFT) Windows phone8 operating platform.

Lumia 928 is exclusive to Verizon Wireless and has been priced at $99 after
allowing a $50 mail-in rebate and a two year contract. The smartphone will be
offered in both black and white and will be available in Verizon stores from
May 16, 2013. However, arch rival AT&T is offering refurbished Lumia 920 at
$0.99 with a two-year contract, while online retailer Amazon is offering the
phone at $19.99.

Previously, there have been talks between Nokia and Verizon for a possible
deal to offer the former's high-end smartphone range, Lumia. Though nothing
concrete has materialized, the deal would enhance Verizon's smartphones
offering and add a third operating system to the iPhone and other
Android-based devices.

In the last couple of years, Nokia has fallen behind in the smartphone
leadership race, which has been mainly dominated by Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq:AAPL)
iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy range, which runs on Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq:GOOG)
Android platform. However, in the last couple of quarters, Nokia has performed
impressively based on a good show from its Lumia series. At the end of first
quarter the company sold 5.6 million handsets recording sequential growth of
27.3%.

Nokia has strategically priced the phone to target the sub $100 smartphone
market as carriers in the U.S. continue to slash handset prices to attract
customers. We believe that Lumia 928's innovative features coupled with
Verizon's leading LTE network within the U.S. will beneficial for Nokia to
draw additional buyers for Lumia. Nevertheless, the Oslo-based company still
has to go a long way to expand its smartphone market share from the present
5%.

Nokia currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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