Following a soaring gain of nearly 5 percent on Tuesday in the wake of a positive second quarter earnings call, Sprint (NYSE:S) shares – driven by analyst reactions to the report – had dropped 7.6 percent by noon Wednesday, according to Seeking Alpha.
Shares, which closed Tuesday at $3.49, were trading at $3.22 Wednesday.
Among those voicing doubts and reiterating Sprint’s “Underperform” rating were William Blair, Oppenheimer and Canaccord Genuity. Canaccord cut its price target from $5 to $3.75.
Despite quarter net operating revenues of $8 billion, an operating income of $501 million and record-low churn, William Blair financial analyst Jim Breen said Sprint has yet to really turn the corner.
“Although positive phone net additions in the last two months of the quarter (and July) instilled some optimism on the call from management, we believe turning the corner will be a formidable task due to the intense competitive environment and liquidity constraints,” Breen wrote in a Tuesday post-call analysis available to the company’s clients.
“In our view, Sprint will be compelled to sell a portion of the 120 MHz of spectrum that it owns in the 2.5 GHz band to fund the buildout of thousands of tri-band macro cell sites and tens of thousands of small cells,” Breen continued. “With competitive and liquidity issues, we reiterate our Underperform rating on Sprint shares.”
Similarly, in a Tuesday report, Oppenheimer and co. Communication and Cloud Services Managing Director and Senior Analyst Timothy Horan offered the opinion that Sprint isn’t yet in the clear.
“We are raising EBITDA estimates given lease accounting, but note that Sprint may move to off-balance-sheet financing for handsets, which entails risk, but should help liquidity,” Horan’s analysis said. “We think Sprint is still a few years from break-even FCF, especially if VZ and T announce new promotions or plans to offset flow share losses. Sprint’s responses are limited given their network and cash flow constraints, but the network is improving.”