Sprint Nextel Soars Over Pre Exclusivity

Sprint released their Q4 2008 results on Thursday. It wasn't pretty. Yet their stock soared nearly 20%. Why?

Sprint lost 1.3 million net wireless customers in the quarter. Overall, in 2008, Sprint lost 4 million customers. At the same time, in Q4 2008, Sprint had a net loss of $1.62 billion, or $0.57 a share, on revenue of $8.43 billion.

Yet the stock rose $0.54 a share, 19.93%. Once again, why? The Palm Pre, and a rumor, that's why. An anonymous source told CNBC that Sprint has exclusivity on the Palm Pre until the end of 2009. That was enough to send the stock rising.  Of course, this morning it's dropped about $0.14, or 4.5%, but who's counting?

The Palm Pre was introduced at CES in January. As someone who's worked with and seen many smartphones, it's obvious to me that this phone has the potential to be a big winner. Emphasis on potential.

Sprint and Palm both need a hit desperately. Quite possibly, that's why they make such great bedfellows. While analysts were disappointed that Sprint had the Pre when it was first announced, it's quite possible that Palm had little choice but to go with Sprint, the only carrier that may have been desperate enough to sign up.

We'll never know.
Tags:  Sprint, Palm Pre, Stock