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Sprint, AT&T Rip Higher In Front of Earnings

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Two of the three largest wireless providers, Sprint Nextel (S) and AT&T (T), report earnings next week, when all three are trading near 2012 highs.

Investors in AT&T and Sprint will receive a few clues about what to expect from mobile peers who report earlier. Nokia (NOK), Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), and Verizon's (VZ) report earnings before AT&T and Sprint. Research In Motion (RIMM) already reported, and it wasn't pretty.

Sprint Nextel S ChartS data by YCharts

Who They Are: Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business and government customers. It trades an average of 40.6 million shares per day with a market cap of $10 billion.

52-Week Range: $2.12 to $5.35

Book Value: $3.53

Float Short: 6.6%

Sprint is expected to report another loss when it releases second-quarter earnings before the market opens on July 26. The analyst consensus estimate is for a loss of 41 cents a share, a decline of 35 cents from a loss of 6 cents in the same period last year.

Analyst opinion is mixed about this company. Most of the analysts surveyed don't believe a buy or a sell is currently warranted. Right now, Sprint gets seven buy recommendations out of 26 analysts covering the company, 15 holds and four sells.

While the share price has bounced off its lows, shareholders from a year ago have not been rewarded for their patience. Sprint shares fell 37% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for S is $3.62. Sprint reached the average target price, making it reasonable to assume that target price increases are coming soon. In light of the earnings report date, analysts may wait until Sprint reports to update their predictions.

The company is expected to post rising year-over-year revenue of $32.56 billion for last fiscal year, compared to $32.26 billion in the previous year. The bottom line shows falling earnings of a year-over-year loss of $3.47 billion last fiscal year, compared to a loss of $2.44 billion in the previous year.

Weinstein Estimate: Sprint beats by at least 10 cents per share.

The previous Sprint's earnings release was on April 25, and the closing share price before earnings was $2.43. At a price of $3.66, Sprint has soared more than 50% in the last quarter. In the last month, the stock has climbed 7.8%. Sprint beat earnings in all of the last four quarters, with an average beat of 7 cents per share (36.1%).

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