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NII’s Shares Plunge After Carrier Lowers Its Forecast

NII Holdings Inc., the wireless carrier that operates the Nextel brand in Latin America, tumbled 24 percent after the company cut its profit and sales forecasts, citing mounting competition and network spending.

The shares fell to $6.11 in New York, marking the biggest one-day decline since the stock began trading in 2002. The company has lost 71 percent of its value this year.

Operating income before depreciation and amortization will be about $1 billion this year, compared with an earlier projection of $1.4 billion, the Reston, Virginia-based company said today in a statement. NII lopped $1 billion from its 2012 sales forecast, saying it was now predicting $6.1 billion in operating revenue.

The report dashed investor optimism that had built up yesterday, when NII shares climbed 19 percent. The company faces the dual challenges of growing competition and an upgrade to third-generation wireless service, which has forced it to spend more on its network.

“We recognize that much work remains to be done to improve our results as we respond to changes in the competitive environment and prepare our business for the transition to 3G,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Dussek said in the statement.

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