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NII Holdings announces Brazilian iPhone deal, shares soar

  • NII Holdings (NIHD +14.6%) says its Brazilian unit will begin offering the iPhone 5S and 5C on Jan. 31. Shares of the struggling Latin American carrier have flown higher in response.
  • Stifel, which maintains a whopping $12 PT on NII (more than 300% above current levels), thinks iPhone sales will lead to stronger 2014 Brazilian subscriber growth.
  • It's worth noting rival Brazilian carriers already offer the iPhone. In addition, Brazilian iPhone sales have been crippled by steep tariffs and taxes. Whereas the 16GB iPhone 5S goes for $649 unsubsidized in the U.S. (~$700 after sales tax in many states), it goes for ~$1,200 in Brazil.
  • NII shares jumped on Monday in response to a Brazilian/Mexican wholesale deal with Telefonica, but quickly gave back most of their gains.
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