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Sprint Nextel Earnings In-Depth: Upsides Noted

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Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) released its earnings before opening bell this morning and the company posted a loss, analysts point out upsides to the report. Analysts at both Nomura and Bank of America Merrill Lynch issued reports on the stock after the results were issued.

Sprint Nextel Earnings In-Depth: Upsides Noted

Analysts at Nomura maintain their Buy rating and $7 per share price target on shares of Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). They point out that Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was ahead of the consensus. They cited lower wireless equipment costs and selling, as well as general and administrative expenses as the reasons for Sprint coming out ahead in its report.

They said as Nextel continues to shed subscribers, the company’s total service revenue growth is being weighed down, although Sprint’s Network Vision is still on schedule. Therefore they see the first half of this year as being “an execution story.” They expect “significant cost savings” to come in the second half of this year and into next year as Sprint Nextel shuts down its iDEN system and switches to the improved CDMA network.

Nomura analysts said Sprint lost about 243,000 postpaid subscribers, which was better than their estimate of 345,000 postpaid subscribers. It also “recaptured” 51 percent of the subscribers who were leaving the iDEN system. Sprint’s wireless service revenue was $7.3 billion, just below their estimate of $7.4 billion. It increased 3.6 percent year over year.

BAML analysts have not rated the shares of Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), but they note that the company’s fourth quarter results were “marginally” above their estimates. Sprint’s guidance for 2013 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was between $5.2 and $5.5 billion, which is just under BAML analysts’ estimate of $5.6 billion, but within the range of the Wall Street consensus of $5.4 billion.

Like analysts at Nomura, those at BAML also point out the importance of 2013 as Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) rolls out Network Vision and its LTE capabilities. They predict “a more aggressive capital push” for the first half of this year.

Shares of Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) fell 1 percent in Thursday trading.

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