Citing improved IP monetization potential following the sale of its phone unit to Microsoft, Jefferies has upgraded Nokia (NOK +3.3%) to Buy, and upped its PT to €7.41 ($10.11). The firm upgraded Nokia in Hold to September, after the Microsoft deal was originally announced.
Jefferies' move comes after Nokia announced it will use some of its Microsoft proceeds to redeem €800M worth of debt issued by NSN last year, and that it plans to lower interest-bearing debt by €2B ($2.73B) by Q2 2016. Not surprisingly, the company has received a string of credit rating upgrades post-Microsoft.
JPMorgan and Berenberg are among the other firms to have talked up Nokia's ability to better monetize its IP in the absence of a phone unit needed cross-licenses. At the same time, EU and Chinese regulators have warned the company not to misuse its patent portfolio.