Leap Wireless (LEAP +3.4%) jumps following an upgrade to Neutral from Macquarie's Kevin Smithen,...

|By:, SA News Editor

Leap Wireless (LEAP +3.4%) jumps following an upgrade to Neutral from Macquarie's Kevin Smithen, which thinks the odds of a $10+/share acquisition by T-Mobile USA or Dish have grown. Smithen thinks the recent run-up in T-Mobile (TMUS) shares has made a deal easier for the #4 U.S. carrier to swallow, and considers the concentration of Leap's equity in a few holders "both a catalyst and an obstacle for a sale." He cautions Leap's "already eroding operating business" could be further pressured by T-Mobile's plans to enter Leap markets (via MetroPCS), but adds it could "drive Leap's Board and key holders to sell now."