Nokia: Signs of Light?

Are things picking up at Nokia (NOK)?

Maybe… or at least, they seem to be getting worse at a decelerating rate.

RBC Capital’s Mark Sue this morning repeated his Outperform rating on the stock and lifted his price target to $16, from $12, asserting that the company’s operating margins in mobile device many have bottomed. He also contends the company will see some benefits in the first quarter from inventory restocking, lifting his unit forecast for the quarter to 90 million from 87 million. “It’s been the most volatile global handset quarter since we can remember, yet the shock to the system seems to be dissipating,” he writes. Sue still expects global units to be down 15 percent this year, but asserts that the rate of decline appears to be slowing.

Sue adds that “it’s bad out there, but not as bad as feared, implying the multiple [on NOK shares] may expand from trough levels.” He says the company is seeing “encouraging trends” in Asia, in particular in China and India, while Europe “seems to be stabilizing.”

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