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  • SoftBank (SFTBF.PK) doesn't plan to up its bid for Sprint (S) to top Dish's (DISH +2.1%), a company exec states. Is the Japanese carrier set on keeping its current offer, or is this a hardball negotiating tactic? Either way, SoftBank seems to be betting the advantages of its bid - a lower debt load, the ability to leverage SoftBank's resources to take on AT&T/Verizon - will lead Sprint to stay loyal in spite of shareholder pressure and the superior up-front value of Dish's offer.  [View news story]
    Gosh, I hope so! Imagine an 'pre-IPO-like' investment in the worlds largest telco versus another unstable domestic triple play whoop-de-doo.
    Apr 19, 2013. 12:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sprint (S +0.8%) has formed a special committee to review Dish's (DISH -0.1%) merger offer, David Faber reports. He adds there's plenty of speculation about the $9B+ in new debt that would need to be raised by Dish, and which would leave the combined company with $44B in debt. Also, much like Dish's offer for Clearwire, some wonder if the Sprint offer is simply a negotiating tactic to reach some other kind of deal (presumably involving Dish's 4G spectrum). (more on Sprint/Dish[View news story]
    So, I'm out. It's been a good ride, but the risk is simply too high for now. Ready to jump back is as soon as things look more directional. I knew the Dish deal was un-doable because of debt, but I had no idea it would reach $44B. I'm sure Hesse wants to tell Dish to get lost, but he can't and has to make a thorough DD.

    I continue to believe that Sprint + Softbank + Clearwire = the #1 SP in the world. Painful.
    Apr 18, 2013. 12:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ergen Chooses Sprint Over DirecTV  [View article]
    Sorry, but I just looked at the DISH balance sheet and cashflow statement on Yahoo and it is not very impressive. I don't really understand DISH's business model, but I certainly have a strong opinion on why DISH would be hell bent on getting into another business.

    My take is that Dan Hesse sees a world powerhouse on the order of China Mobile or Vodaphone if he ties up with Son. A dish tieup would be a bumpkin, cost-cutting, go-nowhere party, but I think Dan let this thing get out of control by offering a too low price for CLWR and then sitting on it for too long. However, I also think he might not have had much of a choice if Son firmly said "This is as far as I'll go! Make it work". If that's true, the Son won't be upping his bid and Sprints upside no longer exists.

    As I've said elsewhere, I hope I'm wrong, but I'm not taking chances at this point. Better to take profits and lose out on some upside than to take the huge risks I see right now - and that risk is Verizon - not Dish!
    Apr 16, 2013. 11:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The War Of 4G Long Term Evolution  [View article]
    Matt's right. DISH has been doing absurd things ever since the Softbank offer. One has to question their intent.

    Furthermore, I completely disagree that this is strategic for Softbank. I think it's opportunistic, and was probably engineered by Hesse. I can see Son walking much more easily than I can see him upping the offer. I truly hope I'm wrong, but he was out on a limb with the Japanese people when he first made the offer.
    Apr 16, 2013. 11:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sprint Shareholders: Watch Out Below  [View article]
    Why is noone considering Verizon? If they scarf up a decent portion of the better spectrum, Sprint is devalued, Dish is less enthusiastic, and Softbank will probably pull out. In any event, only shameless pumping will keep the price up.

    I've been long a cheerleader and thank God for Dan Hesse every day, but now I think he made a big mistake by putting in an absurdly low offer for CLWR and then dragging the close out forever. I fear the tiger has now broken the leash and we're sitting in cuckoo city with CE.
    Apr 16, 2013. 10:51 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Surprise! Sprint Gets Dished  [View article]
    Nice article, Karl. So your assertion is that Dish wants to deliver broadband wirelessly and compete with Comcast and Charter, as well as AT&T and Verizon?
    Apr 15, 2013. 10:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Disgruntled Clearwire (CLWR) investor Crest Financial is offering Clearwire $240M in convertible debt financing as an alternative to the $80M/month in financing being provided by Sprint (S). Crest, which considers Sprint's $2.97/share deal to acquire Clearwire insufficient, argues its funds would leave Clearwire with enough capital to build 2K 4G LTE cell sites and handle this year's interest payments. Clearwire closed at $3.28 today, 10% above Sprint's offer price.  [View news story]
    That would be a curve ball indeed. This is Sprint's deal to screw up.
    Apr 3, 2013. 11:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clearwire Rebuffs Dish By Accepting Second Monthly Financing From Sprint  [View article]
    It's business, buddy. The market price is what the market is willing to pay. If you think it's worth more, make an offer! Maybe you can turn around and sell it for a profit.

    I happen to agree with you and fully expected a better bid to emerge, but it has not and looks like it will not. However, Clearwire shareholders then become Sprint shareholders, so if Sprint get's a nudge from winning a good deal, who loses? I'd suggest that the only losers are those who need the value but are unwilling or unable to do the deal.

    The way I see it, right now, is that the other big players in the NA market are too dim to understand the value of high-frequency spectrum. Softbank and Sprint get it. Clearwire has lived it for years. T and V - not so much. Too focused on reaping rather than sowing. Good for me!
    Apr 3, 2013. 01:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clearwire Competition May Intensify As Crest And Dish Continue To Oppose Sprint's Bid  [View article]
    Buzzy could be right, but I think Sprint will improve the offer. Not because Crest will force it to - Crest has neither power nor leverage. Not because Dish will influence them - the Dish offer is obviously a inferior. Because Sprint has to do business in the future and many customers are also shareholders. The offer is truly not fair, but there are no other 'real' bidders, so I guess that makes the offer, in fact, fair.

    The thing that you need to understand (Crest et al.) is that if Sprint gobbles up Clearwire in an 'unfair' deal, all that excess value goes to Sprint Shareholders, which Clearwire shareholders will become. You have the same stock...same value...just a different ticker! There may be small differences, but are they material?

    So...Where's the beef?
    Mar 25, 2013. 04:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Annaly: Continuity, Confirmation And Dividends Will Keep This Stock A Solid Buy  [View article]
    Thank you, RS.

    In a capitalist society such as ours, it is essential that the allocators (us) keep the aggressive tendencies of the managers that we want to be aggressive, in check. Management (Philosophically - not specifically ours) will quickly move to maximize their benefit, and capital allocators must be prepared to keep the situation in balance, or things invariably go off the rails and a good thing for all turns into a bad thing for all. The worst thing that can happen in a capitalist society is that people say "They're making me money - I'll cut them all the slack they ask for." This is a recipe for disaster, in my opinion.
    Mar 21, 2013. 11:26 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Annaly: Continuity, Confirmation And Dividends Will Keep This Stock A Solid Buy  [View article]
    Look, RS. We both are obviously long, management has just changed, and now we are presented with something that doesn't smell right. And the nonsensical 'supporting arguments' make it scarier.

    Everyone refrained from judging Bernie Madoff...until the day came. How can a little light possibly hurt management? How can pushing them to do the right thing be anything but supportive of them?

    I think Welly has everyone's best interests in mind, but maybe is a little more 'corporate' than Mike was and is listening to lawyers. That is not always a wise thing to do.

    This is a situation where those shareholders who have remained with the team, despite the may who have bolted for slightly higher returns, stand up for their company! This proposal is not in managements best interests either, long term. Let's get them to do the right thing.

    Update: Unless, of course, they can provide a sensible and defensible reason that this is in everyone's best interest.
    Mar 21, 2013. 11:07 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Annaly: Continuity, Confirmation And Dividends Will Keep This Stock A Solid Buy  [View article]
    Jonk - The discussion is not about how much they pay themselves. Noone is proposing changing that. It is about transparency.

    The proposal is whether they want to spin out a management firm rather than managing internally. It's about moving risk from managers to shareholders. It's about shielding shareholders from data points that they SHOULD HAVE.

    I agree with you that I am not unhappy with what management is paid as long as it's aligned with shareholders interests. I disagree that this is any way to go about it. This is a very bad thing for shareholders.

    Is management so thin skinned that "fingerpointers" bother them? If so, then I'm doubly concerned!
    Mar 21, 2013. 10:48 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Annaly: Continuity, Confirmation And Dividends Will Keep This Stock A Solid Buy  [View article]
    "However, this immediate financial benefit is not the exact motivation behind this proposal. The shift of management to an external manager would no longer require Annaly Capital to disclose its top executives' compensations, which have been a source of anxiety for its shareholders. Shares of Annaly Capital fell 1% on the announcement of proposal."

    This is the real gist of the issue. Management doesn't want shareholders fretting over what they pay themselves. Let's at least be honest about that. There is no other 'hard' benefit, except for maybe additional fees in operating two entities where there are now one.

    And that 'issue' is NOT in shareholders best interests. Therefore, the reason for the general annoyance.

    Look, the team can do whatever they like. Their governance is insular. That's OK. The hope is that they will continue down the path of delivering value for shareholders. The risk is now they have some cover for any unethical things that they might do in the future. That WILL weigh into investors decisions,and smart managers today are choosing transparency.
    Mar 21, 2013. 10:39 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Annaly: Continuity, Confirmation And Dividends Will Keep This Stock A Solid Buy  [View article]
    Why can they not write off expenses paid to management? That makes no sense! Any expense of running a business can be subtracted from the profits to arrive at taxable income. IS there some differential? You need to back up this statement.

    Second, why would management be limited in the amount of shares they can own today? Are you saying that management WANTS to require themselves to own more shares and cannot as things are?

    None of this makes any sense at all!
    Mar 21, 2013. 10:34 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Annaly: Continuity, Confirmation And Dividends Will Keep This Stock A Solid Buy  [View article]
    I'm sorry, how is that different?
    Mar 21, 2013. 10:30 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment