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NII Gets Wells Fargo Upgrade on Tower Sale: Washington Mover

NII Holdings Inc., which sells Nextel mobile-phone service in Latin America, jumped in New York trading after Wells Fargo & Co. recommended buying the shares.

NII climbed 5.4 percent to $9.31 at the close in New York. The shares have risen 31 percent this year, outpacing the 12 percent gain of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

The company may get a higher price than most analysts estimate for the wireless towers it’s selling, said Jennifer Fritzsche, a Wells Fargo analyst, in a research note. The company is also improving in Mexico and Brazil as its 3G mobile-phone services expand, she said, increasing her rating to outperform from market perform.

The carrier, based in Reston, Virginia, is selling off assets to concentrate on its business in Latin America’s two largest economies, Brazil and Mexico. NII agreed earlier this month to sell its Peru unit to Chile’s Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones SA for $400 million, and Chief Executive Officer Steve Shindler said last week that the company is “very close” to a deal to sell its towers.

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