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Sprint Corporation (S)

  • Wed, Aug. 12, 11:07 AM
    • Masayoshi Son's double-down on the future of Sprint (S -6.4%) came after he and another top executive at SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY), Nikesh Arora, floated the idea of selling the company to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and to France's Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) -- but getting no uptake, according to The Wall Street Journal.
    • "I should go back to where I was focused," he says -- the Internet side of SoftBank -- though a long slog is ahead yet, if he's to turn around a company that hasn't turned an annual profit since 2006.
    • Son was banking on a merger with T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) and calls his misjudgment of U.S. regulators "one of the biggest mistakes in my life." Now, the focus is on improving the carrier's network as hopes for restarting a merger push with T-Mobile are on hold until after the 2016 presidential election.
    • Son appeared on Sprint's earnings call last week to reiterate excitement about the company's future under Marcelo Claure, who Son calls "my soul mate ... a street fighter sharing the underdog experience like myself."
    • But fixing Sprint is turning out to be staggeringly expensive. Sprint doesn't have the money for a once-and-for-all fix, Son concedes, and SoftBank's covenants with banks prevent sinking more cash in.
    • Ominously, SoftBank has recently invested $1B in a handful of South and Southeast Asian start-ups, and plans to invest more than $10B in India alone.
    | Wed, Aug. 12, 11:07 AM | 38 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 11, 1:54 PM
    • Shenandoah Telecommunications (SHEN +21.2%) and NTELOS Holdings (NTLS +23%) are both up sharply in the wake of their news that Shentel is buying out NTELOS in a $640M deal.
    • In a conference call to discuss the deal, Shentel CEO Chris French pointed to a combined network that covers 4.3M points of presence and 1M subscribers, essentially doubling Shentel's POPs, revenue and OIBDA.
    • The deal's got mildly complicated terms as a three-way transaction ("win-win-win") with Shentel affiliate partner Sprint (NYSE:S), who will compensate Shentel to the tune of $252M in spectrum management fees (to be received in full within 5-6 years) and convert nTelos-brand customers to Sprint-branded, as well as take over NTELOS spectrum.
    • As for Sprint's coming to the table to make it happen: "I think it really came down to economics on both sides," said COO Earle MacKenzie. Sprint is "going to save the dollars that they spent or would be spending to buy the wholesale usage from nTelos and, you know, we were able to provide a network. We also were committed to spending additional capex there which will reduce their roaming expenses to others and provided a great return for our shareholders."
    • Shentel says it will complete a 4G LTE upgrade where NTELOS had a "good head start."
    • Meanwhile, FBR & Co. upgraded Shentel to Outperform, from Market Perform. The analysts raised the price target to $40, from $33; that's 10.9% upside from yesterday's close, though shares now trade at $43.70.
    • Previously: NTELOS up 20% on $640M buyout by Shentel (Aug. 10 2015)
    | Tue, Aug. 11, 1:54 PM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 10, 5:14 PM
    | Mon, Aug. 10, 5:14 PM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Aug. 10, 10:40 AM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) is climbing the roller coaster this morning, +12.1%, another in a set of choppy trading days for the wireless carrier after its fiscal Q1 earnings.
    • The company has rolled out its "Direct 2 You" house-call service in Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Boston.
    • Earlier this summer, the company started its home delivery/customer service offering in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver, as well as Dallas, Detroit, Tampa and Washington, D.C.
    | Mon, Aug. 10, 10:40 AM | 16 Comments
  • Thu, Aug. 6, 12:07 PM
    • In a unanimous vote, the FCC denied T-Mobile's (NYSE:TMUS) request for a larger spectrum set-aside during the government's wireless airwaves auction next year.
    • The carrier -- now the third-largest by customers in the U.S. -- had lobbied for a larger chunk of spectrum to be set aside for smaller carriers (i.e., not AT&T and Verizon) in the low-band auction, an area of the spectrum that the two giants dominate.
    • There will be a set-aside, just not the 40 MHz that T-Mobile was seeking, in what is seen as a compromise by the FCC's Democrats after last year's vote to establish reserve spectrum.
    • The FCC is working to keep the auction on track for the first quarter, and it's currently expected March 29. The agency is finalizing bidding procedures.
    • Wireless Carriers today: T -1.3%; VZ -0.5%; TMUS -0.5%; S +2.4%.
    | Thu, Aug. 6, 12:07 PM | 9 Comments
  • Thu, Aug. 6, 11:59 AM
    • In a choppy week after it posted earnings Tuesday, Sprint (NYSE:S) is back up 2.7% today as FBR Capital Markets upgrades it to Outperform, with an eye toward Sprint's Network Vision plans.
    • The firm maintains a $6 price target. Shares closed yesterday at $3.15 and are trading currently at $3.23.
    • "With Network Vision complete, we see a return to growth, profitability, and positive free cash flow," analyst David Dixon wrote.
    • "Despite management changes, SoftBank now makes all decisions and is fully engaged with the asset," he wrote. "On one hand, if [Masayoshi Son] remains deeply involved, he may succeed; on the other, if Masa micro-manages, it may become harder to execute ... We are backing Masa's high-risk, high-return network plan and back Marcelo Claure to execute well."
    • Previously: Sprint gives back post-earnings gain, -7.6% (Aug. 05 2015)
    • Previously: Sprint earnings call: Masa Son committed to turnaround (Aug. 04 2015)
    • Previously: Sprint up 11.9% premarket as it beats on EPS, boosts full-year guidance (Aug. 04 2015)
    | Thu, Aug. 6, 11:59 AM | 8 Comments
  • Wed, Aug. 5, 12:21 PM
    • After a 4.8% gain yesterday following a star appearance by Chairman Masayoshi Son on its earnings call, Sprint (NYSE:S) is giving it back today, -7.6%, and facing straight talk in analysts' reactions.
    • William Blair reiterated its Underperform rating. Oppenheimer reiterated that rating as well.
    • Canaccord Genuity has cut its price target on Sprint to $3.75, from $5.
    • Shares closed yesterday at $3.49 and are currently trading at $3.22.
    • On the other hand, Cowen has moved its price target up to $4 -- implying 24% upside from current prices.
    • Related: Sprint (S) R. Marcelo Claure on Q1 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript (Aug. 04 2015)
    • Previously: Sprint earnings call: Masa Son committed to turnaround (Aug. 04 2015)
    • Previously: Sprint up 11.9% premarket as it beats on EPS, boosts full-year guidance (Aug. 04 2015)
    | Wed, Aug. 5, 12:21 PM | 10 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 4, 11:23 AM
    • On Sprint's (S +6%) earnings call this morning, SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) chief Masayoshi Son joined in to reiterate his commitment to the struggling carrier.
    • "I'm extremely excited about the turnaround of Sprint," he said. "I don't want to sell the company. I think Sprint is going to be a very good company, of which I will be very proud."
    • As anticipated, Sprint fell behind T-Mobile in total users and dropped into fourth place among U.S. networks, but boosted its outlook for 2015 and detailed how it would pursue "densification" of its network with the help of both macro and small cells.
    • "Japan has the best network in the world,” Son said. “To me, every time I come (to the U.S.) ... I say this network is not something you should be proud of. It’s actually really bad. It's not just Sprint; all networks are pretty bad. You have invented Internet; you have invented telephones ... but the network is not something that you should be proud of." He's working "with my engineers, every night" on Sprint's network design.
    • That affects any plan like creating a competitive alternative to a video service like Verizon's upcoming Go90 service. "How would a customer benefit from a video bundle?" Son asked. "The network's congested, very badly; before you talk about video bundle, all of the four carriers have to cure the issue of congestion."
    • "What Verizon is trying to do is what mobile providers have tried ... the track record of success of carriers around the world trying to bring these solutions has not been stellar," said CEO Marcelo Claure, noting any action Sprint takes there is likely to be through partnerships rather than buying assets.
    • Claure noted the record low churn was broad-based: "What's nice is every single churn measure we do, we're coming down. The network experience is better, customer experience is better."
    • Previously: Sprint up 11.9% premarket as it beats on EPS, boosts full-year guidance (Aug. 04 2015)
    • Previously: Sprint reports FQ1 results (Aug. 04 2015)
    • Previously: Sprint earnings: Management shakeup draws focus (Aug. 03 2015)
    | Tue, Aug. 4, 11:23 AM | 28 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 4, 9:20 AM
    | Tue, Aug. 4, 9:20 AM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Aug. 4, 9:12 AM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) is up 11.9% premarket after posting a loss well better than expected and boosting its outlook for 2015 earnings amid record low postpaid churn.
    • EPS of -$0.01 beat an expected -$0.06. Adjusted EBITDA of $2.1B beat an expected $1.82B. Revenue breakout: Service revenue, $7.04B (down 8.4%); Equipment revenue, $990M (down 10.5%).
    • Postpaid net adds of 310K subscribers. Postpaid phone losses were 12K customers, but the company pointed to net adds in May and June. Prepaid net losses of 366K were better than a year-ago loss of 542K (mainly driven by Assurance brand). Wholesale net adds of 731K driven by connected devices.
    • Sprint platform postpaid churn was a record low 1.56% (down from a prior-year 2.05%). Sprint platform postpaid average billing per user was $61.67, down 3% Y/Y, and average billing per account was $164.63, up 2%.
    • Sprint is pursuing significant densification of its network including "additional macro cell sites, deployment of tens of thousands of small cells, and further expansion of the 2.5 GHz spectrum across the company's existing sites."
    • For the full year, the company now sees EBITDA of $7.2B-$7.6B, up from its previous $6.5B-$6.9B and well over an expected $6.76B.
    • Press release
    | Tue, Aug. 4, 9:12 AM | Comment!
  • Mon, Aug. 3, 6:25 PM
    • ProShares is shuttering its UltraShort Telecommunications ETF (TLL -5.7%), the fund that bets against big telecoms like AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), due to lack of interest.
    • The fund -- a double-short fund working on the inverse of the Dow Jones U.S. Select Telecommunications Index -- will close after the market on Sept. 14. Trading had slowed to about 100 shares on average.
    • Top components of Dow Jones' telecom index that the fund bet against are AT&T, Verizon, SBA Communications (NASDAQ:SBAC), Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT), CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), Frontier (NASDAQ:FTR) and Sprint (NYSE:S).
    • TLL was down 7.6% over the past six months. The iShares U.S. Telecommunications ETF (NYSEARCA:IYZ) -- tracking the same index from the other direction -- is down 0.5% YTD.
    | Mon, Aug. 3, 6:25 PM | 11 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 3, 5:05 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) has moved up 2.7% after hours on news that CFO Joseph Euteneuer has resigned his position. Tarek Robbiati has been named its new CFO.
    • In addition, Gunther Ottendorfer will join the company as COO, Technology, and John Saw has been promoted to chief technology officer, reporting to Ottendorfer.
    • Robbiati most recently was CEO and managing director at Australian consumer finance company FlexiGroup.
    • Ottendorfer was previously CTO at Telekom Austria and has more than 25 years of experience leading global tech teams. He joins Sprint effectively immediately, reporting to CEO Marcelo Claure.
    | Mon, Aug. 3, 5:05 PM | 7 Comments
  • Wed, Jul. 29, 1:07 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) is leading major U.S. telecom gainers for a second day, +5.9%, as it rolls out a new family plan in response to a family-plan price cut from T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS)
    • Switchers to Sprint are being offered four lines with unlimited talk/text and 10 GB of high-speed data for $100/month, which it says will save families $480/year over Verizon's comparable plan, and $720/year over AT&T's.
    • For data burners, Sprint says families can choose a 40 GB plan for $20 more per month. It continues to offer paying off old phones/contracts to enable switchers.
    • Sprint's now up 12.2% over the past two days in coming off a 52-week low on Monday.
    • Previously: Sprint and T-Mobile: Who's No. 3 (round two) (Jul. 28 2015)
    • Previously: Sprint rebounds, +6.8% off 52-week lows (Jul. 28 2015)
    • Previously: T-Mobile cuts price, increases data on family plans (Jul. 14 2015)
    | Wed, Jul. 29, 1:07 PM | 6 Comments
  • Tue, Jul. 28, 5:47 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) closed today up 6.8% on heavier-than-average daily share volume, as buyers took advantage of yesterday's 52-week low.
    • Today's move up cuts what were substantial losses for the shares over the past week -- now to -13.8% over the past five days.
    • Yesterday, Strategy Analytics analyst Roger Lanctot pointed a finger at Sprint, as a famously (and frighteningly) hacked Jeep vehicle ran on Sprint's Velocity telematics platform. Lanctot suggested Fiat Chrysler was taking the fall for security that should have been implemented by Sprint at the network level.
    • In a statement, Sprint says: "This matter was related to software in certain vehicles equipped with 8.4-inch touchscreens and not to Sprint, the carrier providing connectivity to the touchscreens ... At the automaker's direction, we provided assistance by developing and implementing a network-level measure to prevent unauthorized remote network access to the software in the touchscreens."
    • A blog post from Sprint Chief Network Officer John Saw noted that "Sprint’s network is built to support an open Internet for its customers, developers and device manufacturers. By 'open' we mean that we do not block lawful Internet traffic or protocols. We do not restrict access to applications and content, nor do we prioritize one content provider’s traffic over another."
    • The question for investors going forward is who will end up forced to shoulder more responsibility for security in an area as new as vehicle telematics -- and how much happens at the network level vs. the device level. Fiat Chrysler is implementing the fix via USB device rather than any over-the-air update.
    • "We think Sprint's legal exposure is very low in the incidents," writes Elevation analyst Stephen Sweeney, "and not many investors were ascribing much value at all to begin with for Sprint's telematics business."
    | Tue, Jul. 28, 5:47 PM | 10 Comments
  • Mon, Jul. 27, 12:03 PM
    • Sprint (S -8.5%) has the "dubious distinction" of being the first wireless carrier implicated in an automobile hack, says automotive analyst Roger Lanctot.
    • Fiat Chrysler is taking the fall, he writes, for "Sprint’s failure to properly secure its network and the Jeep in question – which was subjected to some comical and terrifying remote control in real-time on the highway thanks to an IP address vulnerability."
    • The hack is bad news for Fiat Chrysler, he notes, as the company deals with a record fine over safety practices -- but it might also mean a "fatal" blow for Sprint's Velocity telematics platform.
    • Sprint's looking to sell Velocity, he says, which might be seen as damaged goods after a very damaging story.
    • Previously: Hacking demo leads to recall of 1.4M Fiat Chrysler vehicles (Jul. 24 2015)
    | Mon, Jul. 27, 12:03 PM | 55 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 24, 1:58 PM
    • A measured slide during the day has brought Sprint (NYSE:S) shares down 8.6%, to $3.36. The stock is the biggest decliner among telecoms.
    • Jefferies yesterday cut its price target to $3 on worries about the company's cash position and spending.
    • Short interest has been building in the stock -- from about 62M shares short in March to more than 103M shares short at June's end, almost 13% of float.
    • AT&T and Verizon reported earnings this week; T-Mobile follows on July 30 and Sprint on Aug. 5.
    • Formal FCC approval of AT&T's $49B purchase of DirecTV is expected today.
    | Fri, Jul. 24, 1:58 PM | 34 Comments
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Company Description
Sprint Corp is a communications company offering wireless and wireline communications products and services to individual consumers, businesses, government subscribers and resellers.