The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Sprint Nextel, Clearwire, DISH Network, Verizon Communications and AT&T

  The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Sprint Nextel, Clearwire, DISH Network,
                       Verizon Communications and AT&T

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Dec. 19, 2012

CHICAGO, Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S),
Clearwire Corporation (Nasdaq:CLWR), DISH Network Corp. (Nasdaq:DISH), Verizon
Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T).


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Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Sprint Seals Deal with Clearwire

Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) has finally inked an agreement to acquire the
remaining 50% stake in Clearwire Corporation (Nasdaq:CLWR) for $2.97 per
share. The total purchase price is estimated at $2.2 billion.

The agreement was approved by Clearwire's board of directors and is subject to
regulatory approvals. The deal also requires approval of the majority of
Clearwire stakeholders other than Sprint, which already owns 50% of the
company's shares. The acquisition is expected to close by mid-2013, subject to
regulatory approvals.

If the deal materializes, Sprint will gain full rights over Clearwire. This
implies access to Clearwire's radio frequency spectrum ranging 2.5 GHz,
utilized in providing services using 4G 802.16e mobile WiMAX standard.

Apart from this deal, Sprint is also trying to forge a partnership with DISH
Network Corp. (Nasdaq:DISH) that will enable the latter to offer its own
mobile services using Sprint's network. DISH, the second largest satellite TV
operator, is waiting for the FCC nod to launch a nationwide high-speed
wireless broadband network.

This will enable the company to offer mobile Internet, voice and video
services to its customers using its newly acquired satellite airwaves from the
bankrupt DBSD North America Inc. and TerreStar Networks Inc.

The agreement, if cleared, would allow Sprint to access DISH Network's
spectrum, which is the most important and scarce element in deploying a
nationwide super-fast LTE network. Nevertheless, this deal may need an
approval from the Japanese wireless service provider Softbank, which has
decided to purchase a majority stake in Sprint.

In October, it was reported that Sprint was selling its 70% stake to Japanese
cell phone company Softbank Corp. for $20.1 billion.

Sprint is in the midst of a multi-billion dollar restructuring program known
as Network Vision. Through this plan, the company is concentrating on the core
Sprint platform, which includes CDMA, WiMAX and Long-Term Evolution (LTE)
technologies, and the eventual termination of the Nextel platform (iDEN

Though the company has enough liquidity to address the growing costs of
network upgrade, iPhone subsidies, debt maturities and working capital
requirements, it needs to bolster its liquidity position buyouts. The
potential transaction would provide Sprint the financial support to build and
improve its competitive wireless network.

However, the company is also struggling to deal with the loss of post-paid
customers to other industry players such as Verizon Communications Inc.
(NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T). This shrink in subscriber base was primarily due
to intense price competition, ineffective marketing, less favorable network
quality and delay in integration of back-office functions with its acquired

We reaffirm our long-term Neutral recommendation on Sprint. However, the stock
has a Zacks #2 Rank, implying a short-term (1-3 months) Buy rating.

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