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First Union Keeps Buy on NEXTEL


First Union reiterated its buy rating on NEXTEL Communications (NXTL).

Analyst Jennifer Murtaugh remains comfortable with her current 477,000 net subscriber addition forecast. She says the company seems to be more focused on achieving cash flow growth vs. subscriber growth; Murtaugh thinks this is a better strategy given weak macro-economic conditions. She looks for Q2 domestic EBITDA of $422.1 million vs. $323 million in the in year ago period. The analyst notes that the Street consensus range for domestic EBITDA is $390-$440 million; she thinks the company could meet the higher end of this range, depending on how effectively it controls its cost per gross addition. Murtaugh maintains her $42 target price.


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