Shares of Nokia (NYSE:NOK) are surging in Tuesday’s pre-market trading after the Finnish telecom said it will raise its full-year outlook as business picked up in the second quarter. NOK stock has been a meme stock staple in recent months as the Reddit crowd has push the shares up 27.9% since late April.
A company statement said management “expects to revise upwards its prior outlook ranges for 2021” but didn’t provide specific numbers, with additional details coming at its second-quarter results on July 29. Earlier guidance pointed investors to expect full-year net sales, adjusted for currency fluctuations, to reach at least $24.4 billion.
In an April forecast, the company expected positive free cash flow, an operating margin of 7% to 10%, and a return on invested capital of 10% to 15%.
To be sure, it’s not just the r/WallStreetBets chatterati who’ve fueled NOK stock gains. Investors have been impressed with new CEO Pekka Lundmark, on the job for less than a year, as he’s shaken up the organization and sought to regain the company’s 5G potential while slashing costs and jobs.
Improved Margins Would Boost NOK Stock Fair Value
“Our first half performance has shown evidence of this in good cost control and also benefited from strength in a number of our end markets,” Lundmark said in a statement.
If news of the update sounds familiar, you may recall that InvestorPlace contributor Chris Lau recently offered insight that in 2023, net sales will grow faster than the market, implying market share growth. To account for potential competitive pressures, investors should consider forecasting a single-digit growth rate instead.
“When Nokia reports results in the next few quarters, look for adjusted margins increasing. If its adjusted operating margin exceeds the 10% – 13% range, then the stock’s fair value will rise,” he wrote on June 30.
On the date of publication, Robert Lakin did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
InvestorPlace contributor Robert Lakin is a veteran financial writer and editor, including previous stints with Bloomberg News and as a buyside equity research editor. His Substack newsletter, TLV Strategist, covers the Israel business scene.