There's a new girl in town, and she came a little bit cheaper than some expected.
Virtual wireless operator Virgin Mobile USA
Virgin Group and partner Sprint Nextel
The timing of the IPO could have been better -- several recent flameouts in the mobile virtual network operator world have given investors a bitter taste for the sector. Private operator Amp'd Mobile declared bankruptcy in June and more recently, Disney
Sprint Nextel apparently didn't want to be left holding the bag the way Verizon
Virgin Mobile commands a strong brand that served 4.8 million customers as of June of this year. But the average revenue per user (ARPU) has dropped in recent years to $21.68 per month in the first six months of 2007. Churn has also been increasing steadily, coming in at 4.8% per month in the first half of 2007.
While a high churn level is not uncommon for a pay-as-you-go operator -- America Movil's
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Fool contributor Dave Mock has onesies and twosies knocked, but gets nervous and shaky past threesies. He owns shares of Motorola. Dave is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Disney and Best Buy are Stock Advisor recommendations. Best Buy is also an Inside Value recommendation. The Fool disclosure policy knows better than to play with matches and hairspray.