We believe that if investors want exposure to a telecom company that offers great turnaround potential, they should buy Sprint Nextel (S) instead of Research In Motion (RIMM). Despite the fact that Research in Motion lost less money than anticipated in its most recent quarter, we can see that Sprint has made more progress in its turnaround project because not only does it have the right to sell Apple’s (AAPL) wildly popular iPhone smartphone device but also it has begun its Network Vision project to dismantle its 2G iDEN Nextel network and to join AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) in offering 4G LTE communications services. In contrast, Research in Motion won’t be releasing the Blackberry 10 until the first quarter of the 2013 calendar year. Also, RIM’s only LTE enabled device is the Playbook tablet computer. Here are more reasons why we believe that Sprint offers a better opportunity for investors than Research In Motion:
Magnitude of Revenue Decline:
Sprint’s revenue peaked in 2007 at $41B, and this was because it acquired two of its former wholesale affiliates in 2007 and one of its former affiliates in 2006. Sprint’s revenue troughed in 2009 at $32.26B and this represented a decline of 21.4%. Sprint’s revenue had incremental growth from 2010 to 2011 and Sprint’s wireless revenue growth rate in Q2 2012 actually exceeded Verizon Wireless’s revenue growth. Sprint’s wireless revenue growth rate has also exceeded AT&T Mobility’s revenue growth rate in both Q1 2012 and Q2 2012. Now that the AT&T/Verizon duopoly has pushed forth with plans to boost monthly service fees for Data packages, we believe that Sprint’s Unlimited Text and Data Package with 450 Anytime minutes for $79.99/month is a fantastic deal for smartphone customers, especially iPhone customers. While Sprint’s 4G LTE Network footprint is smaller than that of Verizon and AT&T, we can see that Sprint has been making significant progress in extending its 4G LTE Network footprint since July. Sprint’s revenue has increased in 7 out of the last nine quarters, thanks to strength in its prepaid and wholesale segment, and we are pleased that Sprint’s Virgin Mobile USA prepaid subsidiary has been selling the iPhone without a contract since June.
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