Mobile operators generally do a very lousy job at developing widely adopted applications outside of enabling the basic functionality of the devices themselves. Operators, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile.. almost all of them except a few instances in other countries are total #$%$ at developing cools apps that a large part of the market decides they must have. Name one popular application besides the basic messaging, voice and ability to send and receive video and files that other applications make use of that mobile slugs developed. There are none. Despite being among the largest companies in the world, they suck bad at innovating applications and then, if they happen to or acquire companies that do innovate, screw up bringing them to market successfully. Its almost as if they are cursed: if you want innovation in applications, it has to take place somewhere else.. it almost has to take place in a basement of college campus.. once folks leave for BORGsville companies their brains rot.. or the organization injects the process with such ineptitude it never happens.
Sprint to start OTT service, June 2035...
"Let's pump Sprint by bashing what other operators have and our love child company doesn't.".. seems to be the theme.
Verizon and AT&T have been developing eMBMS LTE multicast networks. eMBMS uses LTE technology but transmits video plus data in a broadcast fashion to whoever is in range. It can be used within a multiple carrier network as part of a TV/movie and mixed media system that is different than current satellite or cable services.
Let's think about the mobile video market: it is dominated by OTT service providers who offer service for less than $10 per month. Amazon, NetFlix, HuLu, DISH, and several other services compete for marketshare. AT&T is not offering an OTT service with all ~159 channels... nobody does that over mobile. If they did and the data costs were low or included, they would kill the DTV revenue. Fifty million subscribers at $8 per month is $400 million dollars in revenue... not terrible but do you think a mobile operator will compete with the leaders for that much share? Certainly not likely as newcomers to the scene.
Verizon and AT&T deployed and trialed eMBMS service in major stadiums (NFL) and other venues. A major checklist item before rolling it out to the general public is getting enough devices that have eMBMS to offer it broadly. Only the latest devices have it so it is taking time to saturate the market.
Verizon plans to offer unique content, at first limited OTT. Then they and AT&T plan to offer venue broadcasts. This could expand down to local high school football and basketball games, festivals.. most anything that can send using a SmartPhone or 4G video cam that is approved. eMBMS is unique: content that is exclusive, local, user generated can set the service apart. That might be offered on an ad-paid basis. A reason to offer it is to get and keep mobile subscribers, maybe tack on some ad and sub revenues.
A small deal? Not even that for Sprint.
Claure is a salesman CEO doing what investors should expect - put on the best face on the company's position and strategies.
This is a public board on which anyone may post good, bad, or ugly comments. Readers should come to it with the thinking "What is this or that poster trying to sell me? If they own the stock, they want me to buy it, if short, an ex employee with a grudge, they want me to sell it. Or if they are using the board to gather information and share valid opinions, just maybe they are trying to figure out how to make money.. odds against it but worth filtering out and reading the board with a critical mindset and then deciding myself."
The board has gotten so polluted with posts .. including this series about the merits of greekieboys posts, that it is almost not worth reading anymore imo.
I think McKool Smith have known full well that all of Parkervision's patents could be challenged and many if not most would be declared invalid. Ask this: If they thought the patents could be invalidated due to prior art would they have taken the case that has made them millions?
McKool has a position to protect.. that is why they are willing to pursue PV 2 until its inevitable demise. They will walk away able to say "We stick by our clients to the end. Write a check and we will take on your case against Big Money Pockets Inc.".
T-Mobile does have a low or zero 700MHz spectrum in many rural areas. Howev er, Sprint's coverage in low band remains spotty due to rebanding issues:
"Sprint has nationwide holdings of 800 MHz spectrum, but because of ongoing rebanding issues it has been unable to deploy LTE service on those airwaves in certain parts of the country, especially along the Southwest border with Mexico. Sprint says its LTE network covers at least 280 million POPs. "
Both Sprint and T-Mobile need more sub 1GHZ band spectrum. But only T-Mobile appears in good enough financial shape to afford acquiring it in next year's incentive auction and then deploying.
T-Mobile led the lobbying efforts to get congress and the FCC to increase the set aside from 30 to 40MHz. Sprint participated even thought they have not concretely said if they will bid on the auction.
Both T-Mobile and Sprint have far less sub 1Ghz than their chief competitors, Verizon and AT&T who each have from 20 to 80MHz in most parts of the country. That is about three times as much low band on average as held by the two underdogs. Furthermore, the leaders have more contiguous wideband spectrum under 1GHz.
It is very likely that Verizon and AT&T will exit the incentive auction holding onto their substantial advantage in sub 1GHz spectrum. Its also likely that T-Mobile will receive 20 to 20GHz across most of the country. Added to their current position, TMUS look to have up to twice the amount of low band by this time next year.
T-Mobile does have a shortage and will be pressed to keep improve suburban and rural coverage. However, this, as is the case with Sprint, does not change rapidly. T-Mobile has been grownig marketshare despite the lack of coverage due to spotty and low amounts of 700MHz spectrum. Neville Ray says TMUS will improve by the end of 2015. The new expanse of 600MHz won Investors should be focused on nearer term developments, particularly the subscriber growth, margins, a profit/ vs. loss figures
Leasing and purchase of devices outright from suppliers shifts power from the operator's long term purchase contracts. This is not a quick shift.. it has been occuring for years. In fact, the power of devices was largely taken over by Apple followed by other suppliers with the introduction of open Android OS and Apple iOS based Smartphones, pads, and TV/media devices. The term 'Walled Garden' is hardly ever used anymore: that term described the situation in which operators controlled the device OS, screen views and the applications, many of which compete with their own messaging, voice, video, email, advertising, mobile payments, and video apps. Apple had the power to dictate the device app store etc. terms to operators. Since then the device market has grown and become more mature with many apps and OTT services competing for users attention and dollars. Some of Apple's power has been taken over by the many suppliers of Android devices, giving operators some ability to take back control to plant their own mobile payments and content back into a 'gated garden' position. The threat imposed by supplier leasing of devices is to take back some of the control over time. In additon to that, suppliers can hope to cement longer term relationships by co-opting the 'iPhone for Life' type of lease arrangements.. rolling over devices closes off opportunities for competitors.
Some mobile operators have wanted to get out from under device subsidies for over ten years. With the advent of Smartphones that can cost several hundreds of dollars, the burden of carrying the subsidies or leases has grown into the several billions.
Savings? When all competitors get the same benefit from a change in industry practices that allows them to become more competitive. Verizon or Sprint might use the increased cash flow to pay down loans sooner. That could be a net financial benefit. Or they can use the funds for other purposes or to further cut prices. What determines how that shifts the competitive balance is how much better or worse each company uses that common facility. Sprint is in the worst financial position of the big four carriers, so the acceleration of revenue from external leasing can, if used to positive benefit, help Sprint improve their relative competitive position. This is a form of increasing short term liquidity that carries with it the same risks as similar forms of loans. Long term bond holders and credit agencies such as Moody's will not view this as 'savings' but as placing Sprint further into a leveraged situation.
Don't hype, calculate.
The article makes an absurd statement that $1 to $2 billion in savings comes from shifting to lease arrangements. Leasing of phones does not print money: it is a way to get paid for sale of phone plans up front rather than over the course of an internal lease or subsidy. The sales amount is the same less the difference in cost between the finance methods.
When a phone is sold or leased to a customer they either pay the supplier up front, in which case the seller records the transaction as income at that time. If a carrier sells the device to the customer, that goes into their account. If they lease or subsidize the sale of the device internally, then they receive the revenue over a period of time, most commonly two years. They pay the supplier to put devices on their store shelves, an outlay that can be in the billions of dollars. During that time the carrier has a drain on their capital. Third party or vendor leasing causes the carrier to receive payment at the time of sale rather than over the course of the lease.. it is an acceleration of sales revenue but the net sales amount remains the same. The operator gets to make use of the revenue rather than have it tied up for 1-2 years.
How much does this impact Sprint? All operators are expected to participate. Sprint has provided leases for almost a year. The acceleration of payments from vendor or 3rd party leasing will provide a much needed increase in liquidity that is beneficial (or detrimental) to the extent that it accelerates profits or losses.
External leasing helps as good as it gets. If the pulled in $1-$2 billion in revenue, for example, was used to give away free service to DTV customers for a year and that resulted in an increase of a couple million subscribers on the Sprint network in the second year, then is could likely, in a very isolated fashion, be viewed as a high ROI loan arrangement. If not, it accelerates financial decline.
Today's article suggests that Apple may lease devices because of the industry shift away from long term contracts. That would blunt the sticker shock of the high up front cost of purchasing Apple's products. It would be similar in impact to Softbank-Sprint setting up a third party leasing company in accelerating cash flows. However, Apple tends to drive deals in their favor which would likely mean they extract a higher part of the phone sale made by operators in the form of leasing fees (its virtually the same thing as short-term interests for financing the deal but Apple 'carries the paper').
How would that help Sprint versus chief competitors? On the surface it impacts them all the same, varied only by the degree they would use it versus financing the sales themselves. Sprint would stand to benefit the most, again, IF they were able to make use of the acceleration of cash flows to make an incremental profit. Otherwise, as with 3rd party leasing discussed earlier, having more money poured into a leaking boat, a company that is losing money, can accelerate the pace of losses.
Actually, its not just as simple (or simply complex) as discussed previously: if it does accelerate losses but ALSO increases growth in subscribers, then it can work out on the financial models that a narrowing and then a breakeven-profit crossing point is reached because fixed costs are covered by a sufficient baseline of business. That has to be what Sprint is aiming for.. the more substantial rate of growth that is thus far not yet in the forecasts.
Leasing and vendor financing are ways to gain higher financial leverage. It sounds fine when, like other forms of loans, a company does not need it but it serves as a way to increase income because the business is otherwise profitable. Financial analysts generally get nervous when all stops are being pulled out by a company that has a long tract record of losing money and is alresitting on a mountain of non-investment grade debt.
Correction: "That helps the case for building a range between 3.40 and 5.25... which is a slightly higher low end than mentioned in the previous post." - That helps the case for building a range between 4.40 and 5.25... which is a slightly higher low end than mentioned in the previous post.
The chart and recent movement confirms that Softbank will hold S in a range near this level. The stock has moved up over the 200 day moving average while below the 300 dma. That helps the case for building a range between 3.40 and 5.25... which is a slightly higher low end than mentioned in the previous post.
SB won't likely try to push higher due to potential for profit taking and long term selling above 5.20ish.
I was looking for a confirmation in the form of a drop in volume which we have seen occur this week.. volume dropped to below the average where it had soared to 2-4x the average during the move up. Volume will likely stay near or below the average unless a stimulus occurs.
I've been watching the options trading: options shot up earlier this week. Today the OCT and NOV 5 calls had moved down ~15% of yesterday's value. Option volumes have remained low which fits because Softbank's buying had been a large part of the stock's exuberance. What I expect is that #$%$ settles into a range the call options will continue to settle. If it drops toward the 4.5 or lower level, those options will drop precipitously. That is why the selling of options as a stock approaches a major resistance level often makes sense.. the price can trend sideways and you gain.. if it drops you gain the ability to buy them back at a fraction to free up the stock to sell calls again at a lower strike, sell the stock, or whatever the chart, logic says at the time. The prime directive is not to lose your gains.. not to be "right".
So Buy at $5 with a price target of the insider Claure at $8? No stop-loss or other protective orders. No guidepost goals to check along the way. Got it.
Sprint has been shorted to a similar number of shares for several years. A large reason for that is because Sprint had accumulated a large debt which became unsustainable unless the company changed radically from the least efficient capex ROI of the big 4 to the 1st or 2nd most efficient use of capital. The high debt burden might have, therefore, become justified because it would be paid off from the higher than average industry returns. With higher than industry average debt comes the requirement to have higher than, or at least, on par returns on the capital that drains about 10%, about $3.7 billion annual debt service payments. The is the boogeyman in the closet that the company and investors should never lose sight of until it is vanquished. The only way to vanuish the boogeyman is to lighten it up by either becoming more efficient with the use of capital such that the debt burden shrinks in comparison or to pay it down. Unfortunately, the money has been spent already chasing the false accounting of macrocell dominated network strategies.
Masa Son/Softbank hope to change things enough to get a return on capex.. again the tens of billions borrowed and what might have been accumulated capital have already been spent. That makes each incremental capex case that much more precious... Masa Son is enslaved to chasing the golden ring "my precious, my precious (ROI)"... the elusive incremental piece of gold that will convert Sprint's realm into a new dream state, vanquishing the huge debt service (~$450M/quarter) and leading to subs swarming over to Sprint.
Investor's should neither 'buy into' the shouts that Sprint is going bankrupt or is going to soar based on polyana notions for incremental improvements. The basket case company among the big 4 must venerate itself by walking the talk.. delivering on promises. That boils down long term investing to one of, if you must, believing the hype is possible .. but waiting for Sprint to show proof .
What is working to make money... is what is distilled down into practical advice.
Sprint has become captive of much deeper pockets than retail investors: with only about 4% of S float in retail float, the parent company acquiring another remaining 3% over time, and between about 70 and 140 million shares shorted, retail investor's squabbling among themselves has almost zero room left to move the stock.
So, what are the recommendations for buy, strong buy, hold, sell or strong sell and what is the basic plan.. buy/sell/hold now? When does that change? What should someone taking that advice do to protect when the move heads in the other direction? Or what options strategy is suggested outside the stock trade or in conjunction with it.
This board might return to its better calling: being an exchange for learning how to make money by example. Or it can remain a deteriorated rant board that is almost meaningless due to trading being dominated by much larger players, namely Softbank on the buy side and short sellers and profit taking on the sell side.
Your memory is wrong. You do not have your facts straight and I do not respond to idiotic questions. Keep to the subject. We will see how well your posts fair so do your best to get to the point.
OK, your positoin is now strong buy with no target and no specific buy or sell price and no strategy for protection against losses etc. got it. I'm noting similar points for others. After time passes I'll post the tally.
The tally lists the date, closing price, rating, targets (if any) the history of posts can be referred to for other stuff.
Its hard for me to tell what your recommendation is: after reading several posts, I get that you revel in the price having moved up off the lows, SB's continued buying, and are against short selling of Sprint. Does that infer you have a buy or strong buy recommendation? What price targets or methods to protect profit do you suggest? If you don't wish to be pinned down, I'll just post the inference and let readers figure out how correct that is.
I'll start keeping a ledger of buy and sell recommendations to compare over time. I've got you and other posters down for recent recommends. This is a simple tally: day of post, stock price, recommendation and any price target. This running tally can then be checked by readers for accuracy. I might also keep a count of the number of bullish and bearish recommendations as a sentiment barometer.
So, what are you investing for, to point out that some group is manipulating the market/stock in a way that you cannot control it or ride along with them? That is a tactic designed to fail: Go long on a stock, complain when it goes against you that its being manipulated for the 100th time. If the stock goes up, chortle that you are winning... because the Fairy Godmother parent company is helping out.. which was not foreseen so either is gaining back losses or a missed opportunity.
What are your recommendations right now for buying, holding, selling, trading options, or sitting on the sidelines? What are your realistic targets?
You guys post endlessly with generalized buy or sell ratings that becomes worthless because it does not say when or how to buy, or seek protection and sell or buy back. So long as you keep posting every day, you will turn out to be right part of the time... I guess that is what your goal is.. to be right while the 10%-20% of investors who know well enough what they are doing make all the profits that perpetual longs (or shorts) have lost.
Reit: Sprint (S) looks technically overbought. Since that is due to limited duration buying by Softbank, S price is being supported such that shorting is riskier than otherwise. Those sitting on gains may wish to take some profits or sell covered calls at this level. S is likely to stay above 4.28, probably with this 5.28 level as the higher end of the emerging range. Place loose protective stop loss orders in case of a sharp reversal down.
Whatever the rend is, investors can figure out odds and trade using investment tools to take advantage of it much of the time. The only thing needed to be a success in the market is to sell high, buy low in whatever order you can do that. Those who bought while near the 3.10 level who used trend following stop-loss orders might have sold at 4.20 and then placed new orders and bought back in for the next move to this level and now be considering taking profits again. Selling for a profit along the way would have been a mistake to take to the bank.
Shorting the stock was easy when the company fundamentals are deteriorating.. but even then the short interest volume shot up and then down according to the stock price. The odds may have been figured to be long term bearish but that didn't prevent astute investor/traders from covering when the stock reached low levels.. only to repeat for more gains latter. Over the years hundreds of millions of shares where shorted, covered and re-shorted to the tune of $20 billion. Who lost that money? Stock symbols don't have trader's name tags on them but I'll bet a lot of the losses where retail investors who didn't know enough to buy low, sell high or put in protective stop loss orders.
"Rah, rah, siss boom bah! Bleed my trading account dry!!!.. it's like vegas but there are no showgirls or free drinks"