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Why Straight Path Communications Inc. Stock Popped (Again) Today

By Steve Symington - Apr 17, 2017 at 2:16PM

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There may be a bidding war for the wireless spectrum company.

What happened

Shares of Straight Path Communications (NYSEMKT: STRP) were up 17% as of 1:30 p.m. EDT after reports that Verizon (VZ 0.00%) is weighing whether to outbid AT&T (T -1.00%) to acquire the wireless spectrum specialist.

So what

Straight Path Communications stock skyrocketed 150% last Monday after the company agreed to be acquired by AT&T for $95.63 per share, good for a total transaction value of roughly $1.6 billion. But Straight Path revealed in a regulatory filing late last week that an unnamed third party -- which is almost certainly Verizon, according to sources speaking with Reuters -- is considering a competitive offer that would exceed AT&T's price. 

Connected city scape concept image

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Now what

That wouldn't be terribly surprising considering the enviable trove of wireless spectrum assets owned by Straight Path -- which it agreed to divest as part of an FCC settlement earlier this year -- are expected to play a significant role in enabling so-called 5G wireless networks to be implemented by AT&T and Verizon in the coming years.

Straight Path's filing also stated that its third party was already involved in the bidding process before it opted to strike a formal deal with AT&T. But with Straight Path shares now trading significantly above the agreed price of that deal, I think investors would do well to take their profits off the table and put them to work elsewhere.

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