There's a spring in Clearwire's
Shares jumped as much as 21.5% overnight after the 4G wireless network operator shared "selected preliminary" results for the third quarter. Revenue projections of about $332 million were just a bit above the analyst consensus at $324 million, and operating losses will be smaller than last quarter's. A $700 million cash balance is a $160 million reduction from last quarter and about half of the year-ago cash and investment totals, so the cash burn is slowing down. That's good news.
But the stock has a long way to go before erasing the damage done last week, when longtime 4G partner Sprint Nextel
Expect this boost to reverse course when Clearwire presents the full results later this month. After all, the company was free to cherry-pick only the good stuff here, and the cherry orchard got a thorough shakedown -- each of the four bullet-point metrics highlighted a record or improvement of some sort.
Zoom out to a fuller view and you'll see the bad stuff, too. For example, Clearwire's cash burn hasn't always increased the value of its infrastructure dollar-for-dollar, so its total assets are actually declining. Don't expect that trend to end anytime soon -- if ever.
All things considered, Sprint and Clearwire are fighting an impossible battle against the all-consuming market forces known as AT&T
I've already added an "underperform" CAPS call on Sprint to my all-star portfolio, and it's a mere oversight that I didn't do Clearwire as well. Mistakes were made. That error has been corrected.
Go ahead and follow my lead -- or, if you'd rather, go ahead and bet that Clearwire somehow bounces back against all odds. Either way, CAPS is fun, free, and exponentially more powerful the more voices join the chorus.