How Nokia and Clearwire Shook Things Up

There are one-hit wonders, and then there are those stocks for which the initial big move is only a preview for even bigger and better gains to come.

Today, we take at look at Clearwire (NAS: CLWR) and Nokia (NYS: NOK) , two stocks that, despite the incredible volatility in the market, made some of the biggest moves higher during the past month. The wireless service provider jumped more than 60% over the last 30 days, while the cellphone maker soared 46%.

We'll pair those gains with the ratings issued by our Motley Fool CAPS community, where the higher each stock's rating, the greater the CAPS members' faith in that company's ability to keep on beating the market.

A mighty temblor
Sure, even after the remarkable run up in its shares, Clearwire's stock is still depressed. At the end of last year, it briefly traded above $2.60 a share and, two years ago, it was trading for about three times that. Its rally from true penny stock territory, therefore, while notable, must be kept in context.

The WiMax specialist's second quarter adjusted revenues rose 8% from the year ago period to $294 million, as non-GAAP net losses were cut in half, to $0.29 per share. While sales came up a bit short from analyst expectations, the losses weren't as wide as anticipated, so when management raised full-year guidance on both the top and bottom line, the market sallied forth in support of the stock. It was also buoyed by better results at benefactor Sprint (NYS: S) , but wireless carriers have been turning in much better than expected results, so that even Metro PCS (NYS: PCS) was lofted higher.

Clearwire management is confident its business is turning, and can easily sustain itself on the cash and credit already available to it, so it won't need to tap new sources of financing anytime soon. While that heartening statement encouraged investors, one analyst played the role of wet blanket on the party by suggesting that Clearwire's rally was done because the company was unlikely to get any of the proceeds from the new debt offering Sprint priced.

The analyst also didn't think it would find a buyer for its unused spectrum, but others aren't so sure, pointing to AT&T's acquisition of Next Wave as an indication "spectrum at 2.3GHz and above is valuable and has to be part of the conversation."

After the wireless carrier's first quarter report showed an equally strong foundation, I thought it was clear that short sellers needed to rethink their attack on Clearwire. That hasn't changed and, with shares short still about double what they were at the end of January, and days to cover where it was last month, some, at least, are betting that there's little upside from here.

Not CAPS member michaelkm88, who thinks Clearwire will successfully realize the value locked in its unused spectrum -- so long as Sprint doesn't pull out its crutch; but tell me, in the comments section below, if you think the run is over, or if it's got further to go.

A king's ransom
Okay, so maybe Lenovo's management got a good chuckle out of the rumor that the Chinese computer maker was going to bid up shares of Finnish cellphone maker Nokia, but might there be other reasons to be expectant about the stock's resurgence? Yep, but it's really just a glimmer of hope rather than it being caught up in the Rapture.

After essentially folding up its tents, and giving away the smartphone market to Apple (NAS: AAPL) and Samsung, Nokia is making a comeback bid. All eyes are on a September event that it scheduled for early September, which will also feature Microsoft. No one's saying for sure, but it's widely expected Nokia will be unveiling a new smartphone featuring the Windows 8 OS. Coming as it will ahead of Apple's own anticipated iPhone 5 debut, stealing some of its rival's thunder would be an achievement.

As I said, it's just a glimmer; it's not klieg light bright. When the iPhone hits the street, it will be a coronation that would make Napoleon weep. Analysts are already gearing up to give Apple the royal treatment, figuring that the iPhone will sell about 50 million units, making it the grandest consumer electronics gadget debut, ever. That's not really true, of course, because Google's Android OS really rules the roost, with a 56% share, but spread out as it is over many handset makers. Even if the sun never really sets on the iPhone empire, it remains the iconic king to topple from the throne.

Even Apple's rare earnings miss can be attributed to consumers simply waiting for the new model to hit the market, and CAPS member dwKapital says, if Windows 8 becomes such a hit, Samsung will simply flood the market with smartphones featuring that OS. In either case, Nokia's chance of deposing anyone diminishes, but share your view in the comments box below on whether Nokia can recapture the crown it once held as cellphone king.

Shake, rattle, and roll
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