Sprint Nextel Corp Stock Hold Recommendation Reiterated (S)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C-. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and generally higher debt management risk.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • S's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, S's share price has jumped by 125.81%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • SPRINT NEXTEL CORP' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SPRINT NEXTEL CORP reported poor results of -$1.45 versus -$0.96 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.88 versus -$1.45).
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Wireless Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, SPRINT NEXTEL CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $216.00 million or 80.16% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

Sprint Nextel Corporation, through its subsidiaries, offers a range of wireless and wireline communications products and services to individual consumers, businesses, government subscribers, and resellers in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Sprint Nextel has a market cap of $21.3 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 26.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Sprint Nextel Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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