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The T-Mobile–Sprint Merger Faces New Challenges

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Aug. 4 2019, Published 2:00 p.m. ET

The DOJ officially approved the $26.5 billion T-Mobile–Sprint merger deal last month. However, it won’t be easy for T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) to merge their businesses. Some states are concerned about less competition and increased costs for consumers.

On August 1, Reuters reported that Texas’ attorney general, Ken Paxton, joined a group of state attorneys general lawsuit opposing the merger. Paxton is the first Republican attorney general to sue to stop the T-Mobile–Sprint merger deal. Currently, the District of Columbia and fourteen states are suing the third- and fourth-largest mobile operators in the US.

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T-Mobile–Sprint merger concerns

Reuters reported, “Under the Justice Department deal announced a week ago, the companies would divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile, to satellite television company Dish Network (DISH), and provide it with access to 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations.” Reuters added, “That deal is worth about $5 billion.”

On August 1, the court decided that the trial would start in December. The previous start date of the hearing was October 7. On July 31, the states had asked for a new trial date in December, as reported by Reuters. However, the T-Mobile–Sprint merger may not close until the lawsuit resolves.

The companies see earnings rise

Sprint posted first-quarter fiscal 2019 (their quarter ended on June 30) earnings results on August 2. Sprint’s adjusted EPS was at -$0.03 in the first quarter of fiscal 2019. This is compared to $0.04 in their first quarter of fiscal 2018. Sprint’s revenues rose 0.2% year-over-year to $8.1 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.

T-Mobile posted its second-quarter results on July 25. Showing active growth, T-Mobile’s adjusted EPS stood at $1.09 in its second quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to $0.92 in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. In addition, T-Mobile’s second-quarter fiscal 2019 revenues rose 3.9% year-over-year to $11.0 billion.

Analysts’ recommendations

As of August 2, nineteen Sprint analysts were surveyed by Reuters. Out of the nineteen analysts, three recommended a “buy,” thirteen recommended a “hold,” and three recommended a “sell.” On average, analysts have given the stock a twelve-month target price of $6.86. The median target price for the stock is $6.50. Their target price suggests a rise of 1.5% from its closing price of $6.76 on August 2.

Despite revenue growth in the first quarter, Sprint stock fell 5.8% and closed at $6.76 on August 2. Likewise, T-Mobile stock fell 2.0% to $77.73 on that day.

To learn more about the T-Mobile–Sprint Merger, check out T-Mobile–Sprint Merger Faces More Uncertainty.

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