Tue, Mar. 31, 5:00 PM
- In the nick of time before all-out liquidation, RadioShack (OTCPK:RSHCQ) has won court approval for Standard General's rescue deal that will permit it to save 1,743 stores and 7,500 jobs.
- Despite objections from competing lender Salus Capital Partners, Judge Brendan Shannon said Standard General offered more money (about $160M) and was the only bidder with the “added and terribly important benefit of saving more than 7,000 jobs and preserving a century-old American retailing icon."
- The 1,743 stores represent a substantial slimming from the Shack's overwhelming 4,000 stores; Standard General intends to operate the remaining stores along with Sprint (NYSE:S).
- Salus has first claim on RadioShack's IP, including trademark, patents and customer lists.
- The sale will likely leave nothing (or very little) for any unsecured creditors. The firm is estimated to owe them about $500M.
Tue, Mar. 31, 10:22 AM
- Sprint (NYSE:S) has settled a class-action suit that charged it with fraud around its 2005 $36B merger with Nextel Communications -- for $131M in cash.
- The suit claimed former CEO Gary Forsee and others hid integration struggles around the merger and falsely inflated stock and bond prices from October 2006 to February 2008, when Sprint took a $29.7B goodwill writedown.
- Lead plaintiffs were institutional investors: the United Steelworkers' Pace Industry Union-Management Pension Fund, Skandia Life Insurance Co and the West Virginia Investment Management Board.
Mon, Mar. 30, 3:15 PM
- Sprint (NYSE:S) is up 2.5% as it announces an investment in Chicago: $45M in network infrastructure by 2016's end, targeted toward making the city Sprint's first LTE Advanced network, and 300 new jobs by the end of 2015.
- Chicago has acted as a rollout laboratory for Sprint in the past. The company says its customers' wireless usage there has increased more than 640% since 2012.
- The move will mean more than 46 new retail locations in Chicago this year; in the metro area, more than 115 stores, and more than 540 jobs overall.
- Previously: Sprint tumbles; more color on possible network expansion (Mar. 10 2015)
- Previously: Sprint rumored to work on 9,000-site LTE expansion (Feb. 25 2015)
Fri, Mar. 27, 8:58 PM
- Glenn Lurie, CEO of AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), says he's not worried about the outcome if Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) -- third and fourth in the U.S. wireless market behind AT&T and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) -- decide to merge.
- "We are a very, very different company than the other three," he tells FierceWireless. "So whatever happens with them, I'm not really that concerned. I'm concerned about how we execute and how we operate."
- His No. 1 goal, Lurie says, is to reduce churn and preserve the company's current subscribers in order to upsell other services.
- Chatter continues to suggest that Sprint and T-Mobile may have to think about combining to achieve competitive scale, and in the meantime they're firing salvos in a price war that Lurie says AT&T won't join: "This industry is not commoditized at all."
- Previously: Goldman upgrades T-Mobile; DT reiterates merger wish (Jan. 20 2015)
Mon, Mar. 23, 3:55 AM
- RadioShack's (NYSE:RSH) fate hangs in the balance today when a bankruptcy auction kicks off, pitting companies that want to liquidate the retailer's remaining assets against a hedge fund that has vowed to keep about half the chain's stores open.
- Standard General, which has allied with Sprint (NYSE:S) in a bid to create co-branded outlets, calls its offer the "only hope" for RadioShack to survive bankruptcy and stave off liquidation.
Fri, Mar. 20, 2:40 AM
- Standard General's reduced buyout offer of $145.5M is RadioShack's (NYSE:RSH) only hope of surviving bankruptcy and staving off liquidation, the hedge fund's lawyers said yesterday.
- The offer is less than the earlier estimate of $200M because it only covers 1,723 outlets compared with the 2,000 Standard General sought originally.
- The offer also requires RadioShack’s proposed new owner to come up with only $18.6M in cash. The rest of the offer is in the form of a "credit bid," or offer to cancel debt.
- Standard intends to keep about half of the stores open and operate them under an agreement with Sprint (NYSE:S).
Tue, Mar. 17, 12:16 PM
- Sprint (S -1.8%) is launching its "Workplace-as-a-Service" connectivity solution, a product suite it says has "all the technology needed to run a business, offered on a predictable per-user, per-month basis."
- The comprehensive offering (including managed Wi-Fi, WAN connectivity and voice along with device management) is one of a few recent carrier moves toward Unified Communications.
- The service will start at $200 per user per month, and Sprint says it offers up to 50% savings based on its IT spending research.
- The move gets a one-day head-start on T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), widely expected to use its event tomorrow to promote new business solutions.
- Previously: T-Mobile event may focus on business market (Mar. 09 2015)
Fri, Mar. 13, 5:57 PM
- More in a growing series of moves from America's No. 3 and No. 4 carriers to cut into the share of AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) ...
- T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) is offering selected customers a free upgrade to unlimited 4G LTE for the rest of 2015. The customers are getting a text link to a page describing their upgrade. However, those customers will lose their rollover Data Stash unless they opt out of the freebie.
- In a boundless push for customers, Sprint (NYSE:S), meanwhile, is upping the ante on its aggressive pricing by offering to pay all of a customer's costs to switch to them -- remaining phone installments, termination fees, regardless of the amount. The company is requiring that you turn in your current phone and a bill showing the charges due.
- Previously: With declining postpaid ARPU, Sprint eyes customer growth (Feb. 05 2015)
Tue, Mar. 10, 2:39 PM
- On a down market day, Sprint's (NYSE:S) gone bearish, outpacing peers on the way down, -5.8%.
- A note put out by New Street Analysts expects Sprint to announce a huge network plan with its next quarterly report, including new coverage sites, new sites to add urban density, new small cells and upgrading legacy sites to CDMA -- as well as rescuing some old iDEN sites from decommissioning.
- The expectation is of a piece with reports that Sprint will get aggressive with 9,000 new LTE sites, and that the firm may add up to 20,000 new cell sites, though over an indeterminate period.
Thu, Mar. 5, 7:49 PM
- The WSJ reports Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) U.S. mobile phone service will initially feature just one phone - the mammoth Nexus 6 phablet, originally designed by Google and made by Lenovo's (OTCPK:LNVGY) Motorola Mobility unit. iPhone fans are out of luck, as are those who prefer more modestly-sized Android hardware.
- The paper adds the service might launch by month's end. As previously rumored, it will rely on Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile's (NYSE:TMUS) networks, along with Wi-Fi hotspots.
- For those curious, the Nexus 6 has a 6" quad-HD (2560x1440) OLED display, a 13MP rear camera with optical image stabilization, 4K video recording support, and a large f/2.0 aperture, and Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) high-end Snapdragon 805 processor (quad-core, 2.7GHz.). Naturally, it runs on an unmodified version of Android 5.0 (Lollipop).
- The report suggests Google will try to avoid ruffling the feathers of its U.S. carrier partners by limiting the amount of hardware supported by its phone service ... and that it will have it act as a showcase for what it thinks mobile services should be like (as suggested by Sundar Pichai) by offering the services through its favorite devices.
- Separately, Google has launched its long-rumored U.S. car insurance shopping site in California (more states will come later). Google asserts the site, known as Google Compare, can provide price quotes for various providers in "as little as 5 minutes."
- A U.K. version of Google Compare has been running for two years. Like rival car insurance shopping sites, Google will get a referral fee on sales; major insurers such as MetLife and Mercury Insurance are on board.
Thu, Mar. 5, 1:37 PM
- Sprint (NYSE:S) is moving again, up 4.2% on steady volume, on little news aside from the small trickle of Form 4s -- the latest showing that CFO Joseph Euteneuer bought 20K shares at $5.10.
- CEO Marcelo Claure gave a boost to the stock last Friday in buying 5M shares.
- Also this week: Prompted by T-Mobile, the National Advertising Division asked Sprint to drop superlative network claims in its advertising, especially "brand new," "all-new" and "America's newest." The NAD said Sprint should clarify ads claiming faster speeds and better call quality are in comparison to Sprint's old network rather than competitors.
- Earlier, Sprint had signed a deal with BlackBerry to offer BES 12 Services, which should allow Sprint to make more inroads into an enterprise customer base against AT&T and Verizon.
Mon, Mar. 2, 3:12 PM
- At Mobile World Congress, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) confirms its plans to offer wireless phone service "in the coming months" -- a small MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, where it would offer branded services by piggybacking on a partner's network.
- The company says its entry will be modest and designed to showcase technological innovation, similar to what it does with its Nexus branded hardware, made by partners. But in a hotly competitive market, it could take share and have an impact on whichever competitors it doesn't align with (T, VZ, TMUS, S).
- Google hasn't named whose network it would ride on, but it has service-reseller deals with Sprint and T-Mobile.
- Besides its direct impact on the fortunes of competitors, which might be small, Google's move might spur innovation from them if it moves on a vision of better wireless connectivity.
- This afternoon: GOOG +2%.
Fri, Feb. 27, 3:04 PM
- Another day, another big move in Sprint (S +7.1%) -- up higher today, on the revelation that CEO Marcelo Claure bought 5M shares on the open market.
- At an average price of $4.92, the transaction cost about $25M.
- The stock has seen some volatile days in the wake of its earnings report a few weeks ago.
- Shares have lost 41% over the past 12 months, but are up 23.1% YTD.
Thu, Feb. 26, 2:09 AM
- RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) has received approval from a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge to auction off about 2,000 of its stores with an initial $200M bid from hedge fund Standard General.
- Standard is planning to keep about half of the company's stores open and operate them under an agreement with Sprint (NYSE:S).
- RadioShack lawyers also said the company received bids for leases to 205 of the 1,100 locations it plans to close this month, including interest from a unit of GameStop (NYSE:GME).
- Previously: GameStop interested in some RadioShack locations (Feb. 25 2015)
Wed, Feb. 25, 12:53 PM
- Sprint (NYSE:S) just keeps moving today (up 6.7%) alongside rumors that its network expansion may be more aggressive than announced.
- Aside from Sprint's recent 48-market Spark/LTE rollout, niche Sprint-network tracker S4GRU claims there are plans for 9,000 new LTE sites -- a key organic move, after Sprint had previously expanded via different tech from Nextel and Clearwire.
- The plan is supposedly highly targeted per market and will involve "significant capital spend" -- which would raise the question: If Masa Son (OTCPK:SFTBY) is keeping a close eye on the purse, where's the money coming from?
- "Project Ocean" and "Project Cedar" expansions in central U.S. and Montana are already funded, but the other 8,000 sites will need some detailing for any funds beyond initiation.
Wed, Feb. 25, 11:40 AM
- Sprint (NYSE:S) is bouncing on heavy volume today, up 5% to 4.86, countering a slow decline the stock has been on since reaching 5.25 on Feb. 17.
- Shares had lost 4.3% over the past two days as BTIG Research came in with negative outlook on Sprint's cash flow and revenue growth.
- The company has joined AT&T and T-Mobile in teasing the arrival of Samsung's Galaxy S6, using the same phone image but with its signature brand yellow glow. The phone's expected to be unveiled in the coming days.
- Related: Sprint's Dangerous Assumptions (Feb. 24 2015)
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