Phone feud

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Nokia Stock Still Looks Better Than BlackBerry

BlackBerry (BBRY) just posted a surprise quarterly loss on disappointing device sales, sending the stock into single digits and down 50% from its January highs.

In other disappointing smartphone news, Nokia (NOK) missed revenue and saw handset volumes plunge 27% in its recent earnings report. NOK stock is trading down significantly this morning as a result.

Both stocks have underperformed in 2013, and are hardly safe bets amid the dominance of Android smartphones powered by Google (GOOG) or the ever-popular iPhone from Apple (AAPL) that is rumored to be launching a new iPhone line soon.

But there might be a crazy case to be made for Nokia stock — even despite the disappointing earnings lately and the dividend cut earlier in the year.

That’s because Nokia earnings showed sales of its Lumia smartphone hit a record 7.4 million. Now Nokia is just doing hardware here, in partnership with the Windows Phone operating system from Microsoft (MSFT), and thus those sales don’t pack the same punch as iPhone sales do. However, tech site The Verge overlaid these sales vs. shipments of BlackBerry devices for the same period and got a shocking result — that the Lumia seems to have overtaken BBRY gadgets.

Check out their chart.

Nokia earnings show Lumia beats BlackBerry

It’s hard for BBRY to make excuses about its numbers, though CEO Thorsten Heins has been trying real hard. Consider the new line of BlackBerry smartphones made up just 40% of quarterly sales despite several months since a highly touted launch for the gadgets.

But even as Nokia misses estimates, it’s important to note that at least the sales of Lumia devices are moving in the right direction.

Furthermore, while Nokia isn’t exactly financially secure, its partnership with Microsoft — and of course, the boost to the balance sheet after the dividend suspension — should ensure the company sticks around. Rich Uncle Softee has proven more than willing to prop up ailing partners, as evidenced by the Dell (DELL) stake worth about $2 billion that it plans to take.

BlackBerry is pretty much on its own, losing money and seeing sales slide.

This is not to say that BlackBerry will go bankrupt tomorrow or that Nokia will ultimately win. But it’s pretty interesting … and may hint at the potential for a bargain buy in Nokia stock if this momentum continues.

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Jeff Reeves is the editor of and the author of “The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks.” Write him at or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.

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