Friday, August 08, 2008

Sprint (NYSE:S): Colour on recent chatter - Avian Securities

Avian Securites comments on recent Sprint (NYSE:S) chatter:

Sprint is up today on rumors that the company is close to selling its iDEN (Nextel push-to-talk) platform. This, coupled with the proposed WiMAX venture with Clearwire (CLWR), would leave Sprint with its core CDMA platform. Our checks suggest that there are several parties that would be interested in acquiring Sprint's core CDMA platform, including Deutsche Telekom/T-Mobile (DT), Comcast (CMCSK), and Carlos Slim (American Movil, AMX). We are hearing that Sprint may be close to a deal with the U.S. Government wherby the Government would assume Sprint's iDEN assets (no economic consideration) for use as a secure, private network. As part of the arrangement, Sprint would migrate all iDEN subscribers onto its new push-to-talk platform (QChat) before delivering the network assets to the Government. Motorola (MOT) would management the network for the US Government under a long-term contract. This business would likely be housed in MOT's Government and Public Saftey business within Enterprise Mobility Solutions. We would view such an announcement as a positive for MOT. In addition to the U.S. Government, we are hearing that Tim Donahue (former head of Nextel) together with Cerberus Capital may also be mounting a bid for the iDEN platform. Interestingly, in Sprint's recent 10-Q filing, the company discloses a recent compensation agreement with Keith Cowan whereby Cowan stands to receive $500,000 upon the close of the Sprint-Clearwire WiMAX transaction and $1 million "upon the Board's approval of the strategic resolution of the iDEN network".

Notablecalls: Well, Avian may be on to something interesting here. Their comments regarding Cowan's comp package and iDEN network make sense.

My take on the stock? It's a dog. Bow-wow.

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