Will Nokia Be Killed By Bad Press?

| About: Nokia Corporation (NOK)

The reviews of the Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 920 are in, and they are similar to an old New York Times line that was so good Mel Brooks stole it for "The Producers."

What he did to Shakespeare, Booth did to Lincoln.

The reviews were so scathing the stock dropped 15%. Nokia had to insist this is not its throw of the dice. (Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?)

The press was so bad Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares fell $5 billion in sympathy, a drop of 60 cents a share. That's more than half of Nokia's market cap, currently $8.9 billion.

In fact, the reviews were not all that bad. Gizmodo called it competitive. The biggest problem is a lack of apps, which isn't Nokia's fault.

Steven Levy, a fine writer who has been at this as long as I have, recently interviewed the Lumia 920's lead designer and came away impressed. The fact is we don't know how Windows 8 will perform in the marketplace, how many enterprises might standardize on the platform for compatibility with their other gear, and what the actual market might look like.

What we're mainly going on, so far, is prejudice. The phone is as good as it can be. The prejudice is based on an assumption that mobility is just a consumer market, that there is no business component to it. Which is crazy because RIM (RIMM) owned this market for years, and they were targeting the business market for their whole run.

Right now, at $2.38/share, Nokia is a speculation. It's not something you buy based on odds being in your favor. The company is worth more dead as alive, with 9.74 billion euros in cash and equivalents as of June 30 holding up a market cap of $8.9 billion. Even if the dividend, currently yielding a whopping 10%, goes away, you've still got that.

Isn't it worth a flyer? And, who knows, the Lumia 920 might be the mobile equivalent of "Springtime for Hitler."

Disclosure: I am long MSFT. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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