Nokia Corp (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) posted a double-edged fourth-quarter results yesterday that though benefited from operational strength and an advantageous tax rate, suffered from weak sales. From Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron‘s standpoint, he sees it fit to continue to survey the telecom giant from the sidelines, reiterating a Perform rating on shares of NOK without listing a price target.
For the fourth quarter, NOK sales of €6.72B came up short of consensus expectations calling for €6.77B, a miss that faced a strain in Networks, leaving the analyst not surprised. A silver lining for the giant, strength in cost execution, value sales, and a “favorable” tax rate led to an EPS outclass that reached €0.12. While the analyst believes Networks headwinds are softening, Apple litigation lingers as a concern.
Kidron explains, “Nokia’s mobile infrastructure business was again under strong pressure in 4Q16 leading to a sizable sales miss, though management’s operating/cost execution and a favorable tax rate contributed to better than expected earnings. Overall, Nokia remains a mixed bag. Positively, […] the longer-term view into 2018+ is also getting clearer as current cost savings/integration gains are realized and the strategic focus on ‘end-to-end’ network/product synergies starts to be realized. This is offset by poor near-term visibility, continued spending headwinds in several regions […] and Apple litigation uncertainties. We’re again lowering sales projections, but believe we are getting closer to a bottom.”
Ultimately, “We believe the worst may be behind Nokia as merger synergies […] better position it to gain vs. competition as carrier spending stabilizes over the next two years. With that said, we remain comfortable with our Perform rating given the extended time frame involved (gains mostly in 2018+),” Kidron contends.
As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, one-star analyst Ittai Kidron is ranked #3,239 out of 4,375 analysts. Kidron has a 50% success rate and faces a loss of 0.4% in his annual returns. When recommending NOK, Kidron loses 13.4% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics exhibit NOK as a Buy. Out of 9 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 4 are bullish on Nokia stock and 5 remain sidelined. The stock’s consensus target price stands at $4.83.