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Analysts Upgrade: Is Sprint Nextel Sprinting Toward a Premium?

There has been a lot of chatter recently – mostly in terms of trading volume – regarding Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S). And that chatter comes from some good news from the company’s earnings reports, the company’s move in shutting down the Nextel portion of its company and the associated yet outdated iDEN network, and now some analysts have weighed in and given upgrades to the stock.

Sprint Nextel Corporation

Sprint, which sells both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones as well as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android phones, posted a solid earnings report that beat estimates, had a price-target hike posted on Monday and Tuesday saw an upgrade to “overweight” by Atlantic Equities. It has been quite a week already for Sprint. Now this morning, it was reported that Guggenheim was lifting its price target on the stock to $5.50, which is 26 percent higher than the stocks’s Tuesday close. The stock has already risen 86 percent this year and had added another 1.2 percent in pre-market activity Wednesday morning (it is up another 1 percent this morning to $4.40). The stock’s 52-week high is $4.60.

And in the midst of all that, the company also announced Tuesday that it was intending to offer Microsoft Office 365 to small- and mid-size businesses by the end of this year. Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) cloud-based collaboration solution, along with Sprint’s modernizing network, may improve productivity and lower costs among these smaller companies, which then could add even more equity to Sprint’s new evolution.

Sprint has been working hard in gaining customer share and upgrading its technology, and shutting down the old iDEN network of Nextel is the vital first step – though the company did warn that the costs associated with the shutdown might cause some short-term profit issues. However, it has been pretty clear with the recent evidence that Sprint is rallying and is becoming viable once again as a wireless competitor to Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T).