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Hedge Funds Pare Short Bets In Nokia

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Hedge funds have placed some of their largest bets against Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (HEL:NOK1V) as we have noted several times. However, in the past few weeks some of those negative bets were either fully or partially covered.

Steve Cohen’s S.A.C Capital reduced short interest in Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) to below 0.5 percent. Other shortsellers like Brookside Capital and Fore Research Management also reduced their short exposures around mid of March.

Tiger cub, Coatue Management pared its short bets in the smartphone maker but has increased the position since then. For the full list of short positions in European equities, visit Hedge Fund Short Positions in Europe.

Hedge Funds Pare Short Bets In Nokia

Nokia will announce 1Q2013 earnings on April 18. Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) is down 14 percent year to date. Analysts at Morgan Stanley cautioned against high hopes for Nokia’s upcoming Q1 results, saying that there is not strong likelihood that the company will be able to exceed expectations as it did in Q4.

As is the custom with the new year, the Q1 earnings could be hampered by problems with inventory supply. The handset maker could also take a writedown from all the Windows 7 platform phones that were bought by the company; this could lead to lower revenues. MS estimates that the company will sell 6-7 million units of Windows phones in Q1.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) received some positive sentiment from Swedbank AB (STO:SWED-PREF) (STO:SWED-A) (PINK:SWDBY). The analysts at Swedbank saw Nokia’s cheap valuation as a window to buy up shares of the company. They still see some upside in the future earnings even if the recovery of Nokia’s smartphone business is slow.

Swedbank expects Nokia to build up sales of Lumia phones gradually throughout the year. In a separate development, Nokia surprised today by stepping into a completely new product and launched its first touchscreen microwave oven.

The existing short positions in Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) are now held by Viking Global, Maverick Capital,  Discovery Capital, Blue Ridge Capital, Coatue Offshore and Lone Pine Capital.

All of them are tiger cubs; the only short holdings held by non-tiger cubs are Fest N.V and Soroban Capital’s. The total short interest in the Finnish smartphone company, excluding the positions below 0.5 percent, is now 10.2 percent of Nokia’s outstanding shares.

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