Sprint is openly opposed to AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile, but the scrappy carrier stands to benefit from the deal according to Piper Jaffray analyst Christopher Larsen. Larsen on Friday lifted his rating on Sprint stock from neutral to overweight, while also upping his price target from $5 to $6.50. The analyst sees brighter days ahead for the carrier through the rest of 2011 and 2012 as well, and he also believes the AT&T / T-Mobile deal could be a good thing for Sprint. Larsen thinks the merger could cause some subscribers to leave the new mega-carrier and flee to Sprint. Beyond that, AT&T may be required to divest some markets in order for the deal to be approved, and Sprint may very well pick up that business or even some of AT&T’s spectrum if it is forced to let some go. Finally, the analyst also believes a post-merger market would be less prone to aggressive price cutting, which would certainly help Sprint maintain a competitive advantage. More →
In a Congressional appearance last week, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse explained just why his company objects to the proposed $39 billion AT&T and T-Mobile merger. Aside from his previously expressed grievances — that the merger would create a wireless duopoly and stifle competition — Hesse also noted another possible paradigm: the deal could lead to Sprint being bought or acquired as well. “The most likely buyer is CenturyLink, the biggest company in telecommunications without a wireless unit,” writes Bloomberg, quoting industry analysts. Other potential Sprint buyers on the publication’s post-merger hit-list include Comcast Communications — a company that might be interested in bundling home internet, phone and cable services with wireless offerings. Most analysts agree that a Sprint purchase would come at least two full-quarters after the AT&T and T-Mobile deal has been finalized, although the idea of the Now Network being procured is still very speculative. Representatives from Sprint, CenturyLink, and Comcast all declined to comment on the report. More →
Sprint may not stock the iPhone or the iPad, but that hasn’t stopped them from reaping the benefits (or even making a case) of the iPad’s success. In an interview with GigaOm, Dan Hesse,CEO of Sprint pointed out that the fastest selling iPad’s were the WiFi variants, which bodes well for Sprint. Sprint’s Overdrive 3G/4G mobile wireless hotspot, has been selling well, allowing iPad owners to blitz the net at 4G speeds. “The company has seen an uptick in demand for its Overdrive (3G/4G) MiFi wireless hotspot device, as people use it to connect their iPads to the Internet when on the go.” Although Dan stopped short of giving us some actual numbers, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Sprint has been rolling out their 4G network gradually across the major cities in the U.S., and from the looks of it, their Overdrive sales aren’t going to pipe down any time soon.
Sprint CEO, Dan Hesse, was speaking with FierceWireless when he noted that his company would eventually shut down their iDEN network. The move isn’t really all that surprising, especially when you take into account that Hesse asserted that there was “no timeline” and it would be a “gradual process.” The shuttering of Nextel’s iDEN network would, as the CEO put it, “free up some channels to put CDMA services onto Sprint’s 800 MHz iDEN spectrum.” One thing is certain, when Sprint does decide to drop the ax on their iDEN network, there will be plenty of local and state municipalities looking for another wireless provider. More →
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that three sprint executives — Dan Hesse, Keith Cowan, and Steven Elfman — have resigned from WiMAX network-operator Clearwire’s board. Sprint informed the WSJ that they would appoint “independent successor directors” within the next few months; Sprint has named its general counsel, Charles Wunsch, as an observer in the meantime. Clearwire writes that the resignations are due to “recent changes in antitrust laws,” but also admit that the move could provide the company with “added flexibility” in pursuing additional funding. Sprint is the majority owner of Clearwire, holding a 54% position. More →
The back and forth continues. Following Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam’s comment that the Pre would be hitting VZW shelves “over the next six months or so”, Sprint issued a brief official statement confirming that its Pre exclusivity runs through the end of 2009, at least. While specifics of the exclusivity deal remain a mystery for the time being, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has just elaborated on the situation a bit. According to Cnet, Hesse stated the following at a press event with regard to McAdam’s Pre comment:
They need to check their facts. That just is not the case. Both Palm and Sprint have agreed not to discuss the length of the exclusivity deal. But I can tell you it’s not six months.
So, Verizon customers, it looks like you have a bit more waiting than anticipated before you can get your webOS on — at least where the Pre is concerned.
Let’s face it, Sprint’s latest round of commercials haven’t exactly been well received. Many found Hesse’s attempt to be the “people’s CEO” laughable while a much smaller group thought it was cool that he wasn’t afraid to engage the public. How many other CEOs do people openly recognize other than titans like Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer? Regardless, Sprint has decided enough is enough and the run is no more. We’re not quite sure what route Sprint will be taking next in terms of advertising but with its Simply Everything plans bundling so many cool features at competitive pricing, perhaps it should use the money saved elsewhere while we await the Pre. Customer service maybe? After all, Sprint’s Customer Care department is thought by many to be one of the main reasons customers are ditching Sprint.
Thanks, Roger A!
One would think that a company struggling and bleeding customers like Sprint would have executives bleeding themselves. Not so. Even after their obvious hardship to stay competitive, the fines and fees they’ve paid out for various reasons, like settling on litigation against ETFs, Sprint/Nextel executives are tops when it comes to compensation. It’s not a surprise that corporate bigwigs are still getting paid despite poor performance, but it does irk a few consumers. According to Standard & Poor’s index of large companies, Sprint had the worst pay-for-performance in 2007 — imagine that. Sprint spokesperson James Fisher said “It’s very important to consider that 2007 was a highly unusual year because of compensation that was paid to an exiting CEO, as well as sign-on compensation paid to a new CEO,” and continued their defense, “We had significant other severance charges for executive changes during the year.” Whatever dude.
Of course, there is a new CEO in Dan Hesse, a man who prides Sprint in the fact that consumers can e-mail him “directly” with questions and concerns. Hesse replaced Gary Forsee (We wonder if Forsee foresaw his own demise) who received $22.4 million in total compensation last year… got to love severance packages. Another $74 million went to the rest of the top management team. This kind of corporate behavior, amongst other things, is part of the reason we’re struggling and resorting to multi-billion-dollar bailouts.