Could the market analysts at UBS in New York have called the bottom of the handset business? Having lowered their rating to neutral a year ago, UBS has now raised Nokia to a buy rating, claiming there are the first signs of a rebirth for the leading supplier of cell phones.
UBS stated that 12 months ago the company faced a weakening economy carrying a tired product line-up. The reversal of these two fundamentals was the primary reason behind the decision by UBS to upgrade Nokia's rating. However, this re-rating was also helped by signs of life in a previously dormant mobile phone market, Nokia's margins were holding steady, a new stock buyback plan was being mulled, and the company had exhibited a track record of solid management.
Interestingly, reports from Taiwan indicate Qualcomm has very recently requested an increase in shipments from the country's main chipset supplier due to better-than-expected US and European handset sales--a trend helped by a rapidly growing demand from emerging markets including China and India.
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