Look Before You Leap

 | Jul 15, 2013 | 2:56 PM EDT  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

leap

,

t

,

tmus

,

s

,

dish

Wait a second! Wasn't Leap Wireless (LEAP) left for dead? How did four analysts have sells on the darned thing? How did that happen?

Now you have one of the shrewdest, most well-capitalized companies in the business, AT&T (T), paying double for what it sold for Friday morning, and it might not even be able to obtain the company, given that it is trading well above where the bid stands?

Turns out that the Leap spectrum, what you need to expand your business is much more worthwhile than even the bulls thought. It's a hugely strategic asset and one that could entice T-Mobile (TMUS) and even Sprint Nextel (S)-Softbank to enter the fray.

How come analysts were so wrong? Because time and again, they look at EPS estimates and do not look at enterprise value or strategic value. We have a spectrum shortage, and AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all need more of it. The only other big clump of spectrum out there for the grabbing is with Dish Network (DISH), the company run by Charlie Ergen, the hard-charging, swashbuckling manager who tried to break up the Clearwire-Sprint deal because he wanted to augment his spectrum.

Turns out that this left-for-dead company wasn't left-for-dead at all. It just wasn't valued properly. And the valuation isn't set by the analysts; it's set by the acquirers. They were too bearish, and they kept you out of a good one. 

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