Will Patents Push Nokia Shares Higher Despite Selling Devices to Microsoft?

Will Nokia shares remain flat, or rise as investors take into account the company's innovative patents?

Ever since Nokia (NOK) sold its devices division to Microsoft (MSFT), the cash-rich company was stuck in a narrow range. Nokia shares look poised to rise above $8, but investors need to be convinced there is more value to be unlocked in the company.

Read more: 3 Mobile Stocks to Consider as Americans Double Down on Data

Click on the interactive chart to see returns over time. Sourced from Zacks Investment Research. 

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Solid enforcement of Nokia’s device patents and results from Nokia Solutions Network may support growth in share price in 2014.

Patent valuation

Speculation from investors regarding Nokia’s patents failed to support a higher valuation for the company in the past. Now that Nokia is free from worrying about operational losses in its handset division, the company could monetize its patent portfolio in a big way.

Very recently, an injunction on all HTC phones running Google’s (GOOG) Android was initiated in Germany. The additional cash Nokia has on hand allows the company to enforce the injunction through a bond. Currently the NFC or Bluetooth connection between two HTC devices infringes on EP1148681.

Patent valuation may not be fully incorporated in Nokia's share price, because investor expectation looks focused on the short term. Nokia has over 30,000 patents and 10,000 innovations that are patented. It will likely take several years, not several months, for this value to be realized.

Investors might wish to note that when AOL Inc. (AOL) sold patents to Microsoft for $1.1 billion, its shares jumped. Over the course of two years, its shares continued to rise:

Click on the interactive chart to see price data over time. Sourced from Zacks Investment Research. 

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Network solutions

Nokia recently bought Siemens’ holding in Nokia Solutions Network for a good price. The division generated positive results in the last few quarters, and could continue to improve. Nokia may look for small, incremental acquisitions to boost its competitive positioning.

Acquisitions that boost revenue will give investors another reason to consider Nokia as a growth play, but they shouldn’t lose track of Microsoft as it takes full control of Nokia’s mobile devices. Especially considering one of the company’s first moves was a price cut. 


Written by Chris Lau. 


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