BMO Capital Remains Sidelined on Nokia Oyj (ADR) (NOK) Following Router Launch Event

Yesterday, BMO Capital analyst Tim Long attended Nokia Oyj (ADR) (NYSE:NOK)’s router launch event, where the telecom giant introduced to the world its brand new FP4 network processor and new router platform, 7750 SR-s.

Remaining cautious, the analyst maintains a Market Perform rating, listing a price target of $6, which represents a downside of nearly -6% compared to where the shares last closed.

To the company’s credit, Long believes Nokia holds the advantage of being the first to market the FP4 network processor. However, the analyst specifies this is solely a short-term upper hand, and estimates the giant’s market leadership will last several quarters, starting by the fourth quarter of 2017, with new systems using FP4 chips, and continuing in early 2018, with existing routers that will adopt the chip. This is especially considering rivals will rush to build similar systems, processors that are, according to Nokia’s management, “capable of up to 6x performance of existing solutions, comparing the processor’s 2.4Tbps performance to 400G.”

Additionally, Nokia unleashed the 7750 SR-s, a new router platform, which supposedly offers the “highest density in a single shelf.” Taking into consideration the telecom giant’s legacy relationships, Long asserts Nokia stands to benefit from selling the platform to service providers, but will encounter an uphill battle when it comes to web-scaling, which the analyst sees as “challenging given incumbent strength.” Long notes Nokia managed to sell its routers to Apple, which is a considerable opportunity, but adds, “the scale of such a win would be much smaller than the biggest target customers.”

Bottom line, the analyst views potential for Nokia but remains “concerned about the weak capex environment, and could be more constructive if routing and optical returned to growth.”

“We view the announcements as positive, though the company will need to complement the technology leadership with an aggressive marketing push, particularly to gain traction with web-scale customers. Since Routing has struggled for Nokia of late, new products are needed to re-ignite growth,” concludes the analyst.

According to TipRanks, a financial engine that measures and ranks analysts’ and bloggers’ performance, five-star analyst Tim Long is ranked #156 out of #4574 analysts. Long has a 68% success rate and generates an annual yield of 15.8%. However, when recommending NOK, the analyst earns a -38.1% average profit on the stock.

TipRanks analytics show NOK as a Hold. Based on 9 analysts offering recommendations for this share, 2 issue a Buy and 7 maintain a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $7.33, making a nearly 15% upside from where the stock is currently trading.

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