Nokia (NOK +2%) has made fresh 52-week highs today, and is up 13% since delivering market-pleasing Q3 results and Q4 guidance yesterday morning. A two-notch upgrade to Buy from Denmark's Danske Bank is helping Nokia's cause; Danske issued a similar upgrade in April before having a change of heart.
Meanwhile, a U.K. court has ruled in Nokia's favor in a patent infringement case against HTC. The ruling follows a favorable U.S. ITC verdict against HTC in September. With Nokia set to no longer sell hardware for which it needs patent cross-licenses, the company is bound to become more aggressive in its IP licensing efforts.
Also: Evercore and Cowen have each reiterated neutral ratings following the Q3 report. Evercore likes positioning and balance sheet in the wake of the Microsoft deal, but also calls NSN "a weak #2 player" in a competitive mobile infrastructure market. The firm estimates NSN has a 15% mobile infrastructure share, half that of market leader Ericsson (ERIC +0.7%).
Cowen is more upbeat, arguing NSN could post again post a double-digit op. margin in 2014, and that the division's strong LTE positioning could allow it to deliver top-line growth next year.