FBR Analyst Raises Price Target for Sprint Corp (S); Notes Standout First Quarter Results

FBR analyst David Dixon weighs in on Sprint Corp (NYSE:S) following turnaround momentum with what Dixon considers “standout” 1Q:16 results. Earnings of $2.5 billion are meaningfully above consensus expectations by 4.6% as a result of strict cost management. Dixon reiterates a Buy rating on S stock, raising his price target of $6.00 to $7.00, marking a slight 12% upside from where the shares last closed.

The mobile network giant is now “showing accelerating momentum in its continuing turnaround while providing better-than-expected adjusted free cash flow guidance.” From the Dixon’s assessment, other key winning factors for S include a stabilization of top-line, a drive towards increased subscriptions, and low rates of customer churn impact. For these reasons, the analyst supports Sprint outperforming its guidance for a break-even first quarter. Positive free cash flow also has pushed Sprint towards an aggressive network strategy geared towards next-generation.

Dixon believes, “Leveraging small cells and low-cost customer premise equipment (CPE) solutions to do more of the heavy lifting for data traffic consumption in metro areas should position Sprint as the lowest-cost and fastest deployer of incremental data capacity at a fraction of the cost of the traditional macro tower approach. Sprint is beginning to shift its messaging away from being the lowest-cost provider, which will help drive future revenue growth. Network Lease Co. is a further positive catalyst in 2016, in our view.” Following this successful momentum for Sprint, Dixon has accordingly adjusted earnings per share estimates from $10 billion to $10.3 billion with a forecast for revenue to reach $35 billion, as a reflection of improved cost management and an increase in net add assumptions.

As usual, we like to include the analyst’s track record when reporting on new analyst notes to give a perspective on the effect it has on stock performance. According to TipRanks, David Dixon is ranked #368 out of 4,083 analysts. Dixon upholds a success rate of 54%, averaging 16.2% for profits in his returns.

TipRanks analytics exhibit S as a Hold. Based on 15 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 2 rate a Buy, 8 maintain a Hold, and 5 issue a Sell. The 12-month average price target stands at $4.86, marking a 22% downside.

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