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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Nokia, Research in Motion, Apple, Google and The Andersons

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 4, 2012 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Nokia Corporation ( (NOK - Free Report) , Research in Motion Ltd ( , Apple Inc ( (AAPL - Free Report) , Google Inc ( and The Andersons, Inc. ( (ANDE - Free Report) .

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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Nokia Fights Patent Battle

Nokia Corporation ( (NOK - Free Report) has entered into a legal battle claiming that its patents have been violated by rivals Research in Motion Ltd ( , HTC and Viewsonic Corp. The case has been filed in U.S. and Germany against infringements of Nokia’s dual function antennas, power management for mobile devices and various software related patents.      

Presently, Nokia is in dire straits, losing on every front. Nokia remains severely challenged owing to stiff competition, primarily from Apple Inc’s. ( (AAPL - Free Report) iPhone, and an array of other smartphone manufacturers using Google Inc’s. ( Android platform. In this situation if the company fails to protect its patent portfolio, the outcome can be worse.

The company has the strongest patent portfolio in the wireless industry and has spent almost $62 billion in the last two decades in research and development. Nokia possesses a very strong portfolio of around 10,000 patents.

Furthermore, the company has patent licensing agreements with around 41 mobile handset manufacturers who can use its patents. The company earns a healthy royalty income from this licensing agreement. Recently, the company has lost its title as the world’s biggest mobile manufacturer to Samsung Electronics. We believe that Nokia will fight till the end to protect its patent.

For quite some time now Nokia has been defending its patents against other handset manufacturers. Last year, the company filed a lawsuit against iPhone manufacturer Apple Inc. for some of its patents which were settled after Apple agreed to pay a one-time payment and royalty fees.

In this current round of litigation, Nokia has sued HTC for unauthorized use of its proprietary innovations which are not widely licensed. They have also accused California-based tablet maker Viewsonic corp. of infringing four patents relating to 3G and Wi-Fi technology industry standards. According to Nokia, they just want to stop the illegal use of their proprietary technologies in any form.  

Therefore, we retain our long-term Underperform recommendation on Nokia. Currently, Nokia has a Zacks #5 Rank, implying a short-term Strong Sell rating.

The Andersons Buys Ethanol Biz

The Andersons, Inc. ( (ANDE - Free Report) has completed the purchase of an ethanol facility in Denison, Iowa from Amaizing Energy Dennison LLC and Amaizing Energy Holding Company, LLC.

The new plant consists of an ethanol production facility with an adjacent 2.7 million bushel grain terminal. It will carry out its operations in the west of Mississippi. It would be included in the Ethanol Group of The Andersons Dennison Ethanol, LLC, a subsidiary of Andersons. The Ethanol Group generated nearly about 12.7% of the total revenue in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The Andersons Denison Ethanol LLC was formed to offer investment opportunities for The Andersons as well as outside investors. The Andersons will manage the operations, and provide grain origination, risk management, and DDG and ethanol marketing services.

The Andersons’ Ethanol Group already manages the operations of three plants — Andersons Albion Ethanol LLC in Michigan, The Andersons Clymers Ethanol LLC in Indiana and The Andersons Marathon Ethanol LLC in Ohio.

This is Andersons’ first ethanol plant in west Mississippi. Through this acquisition, Andersons will extend its geographical boundaries, to diversify and augment the customer base in its Ethanol Group. It will extend both production and marketing services in area.

The new facility is expected to render greater efficiency to the grain market and other, related services of grain producers based in Iowa. In addition, the new plant would complement the Iowa Northern Railway Company and Lansing Trade Group LLC.

Andersons generates the majority of its revenue from the Grain and Ethanol Group. It contributed nearly 80% in the fourth quarter of 2011. The company makes constant efforts to upgrade the business and strengthen its market position in the face of growing competition.

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