Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Straight Path Communications Inc. Stock Jumped Over 22%Today

By Steve Symington – May 3, 2017 at 2:52PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The bidding war is heating up for this wireless spectrum company. Here's what investors need to know now.

What happened

Shares of Straight Path Communications (NYSEMKT: STRP) were up 22.3% as of 2:20 p.m. EDT Wednesday after the wireless spectrum specialist released more details of an acquisition offer superior to AT&T's (T 0.89%) previous bid.

So what

Straight Path shares initially skyrocketed 150% early last month, when the company agreed to be acquired by AT&T for $95.63 per share, or a total transaction value of $1.6 billion. But the stock continued to rise the following week amid reports that Verizon (VZ 0.59%) was weighing whether to top that bid in order to secure Straight Path's key wireless spectrum assets, which are expected to play a large role in enabling the rollouts of 5G wireless networks in the coming years. The week after that -- on April 25, 2017 -- Straight Path popped yet again after it confirmed it had received an unsolicited "superior proposal" from an unnamed third party -- presumably Verizon -- on April 24, 2017. At the time, it gave AT&T five business days to negotiate an amendment to its own offer.

Today, however, Straight Path's board revealed that it has received a revised offer from the unnamed bidder to acquire 100% of its issued and outstanding shares in an all-stock transaction at $135.96 per share, representing an enterprise value of roughly $2.3 billion. Straight Path also noted that the previous (April 24) offer from this unnamed bidder was for $104.64 per share, or an enterprise value of $1.8 billion.

A view from above of a digitally connected globe


Now what

The new bidder has stated that its offer is good through 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 8, 2017. So Straight Path is giving AT&T three business days to respond with its own competitive bid. As a reminder, if Straight Path chooses the new bidder, it will owe AT&T a termination fee of $38 million. But that's a small price to pay given the incredible premium represented by the latest proposal.

In the end, as I suggested last week, there's certainly a chance that Straight Path's price will go even higher. But with Straight Path shares trading at $153.85 as of this writing, I think investors would do well to take at least some of their profits off the table today.

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Verizon Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.