Clearwire received a boost last week from RBC Capital analyst Jonathan Atkin. He raised his rating on Clearwire's shares to "Outperform" from "Sector Perform," with a new price target of $10, up from $8.
"Our upgrade primarily reflects our view that near-term developments are likely to be viewed favorably," he wrote. Atkin believes the company will likely deploy LTE alongside its WiMAX network at a modest incremental capital expenditure, "which we believe enhances the company's appeal to wholesale partners, strategic partners and vendors," and makes the operator an attractive merger and acquisition candidate.
In November, CEO Bill Morrow said Clearwire could quickly add LTE technology to its network if it felt it needed to, but said he did not think the LTE ecosystem would bypass WiMAX before 2012. Clearwire last summer tapped Huawei as a vendor primarily because it is the first vendor to make a multicarrier base station to provide extra capacity. Huawei now makes a six-slot BTS.
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Clearwire looking at multiple new wholesale partners
Clearwire taps Huawei for WiMAX
Clearwire reports a total of 173,000 mobile WiMAX subs at end of 3Q