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Weekly wireless ratings wrap-up

The following list includes ratings changes and financial information for wireless companies announced this week by investment-banking and financial-services firms.

Click here for wireless ratings from past weeks from RCR Wireless News.

Carrier

  • Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed its B bank loan rating on Ntelos Inc.’s amended and restated $665 million first-lien credit facility and revised the recovery rating to 3 from 2. Standard & Poor’s also affirmed the B corporate credit ratings on Ntelos and parent Ntelos Holdings Corp. and revised the outlook for both ratings to positive from stable.
  • Merrill Lynch raised its price target on SBA Communications from $30 to $33 after the company reported first-quarter results that exceeded the firm’s expectations.

 

Handset and infrastructure vendors

 

  • RBC Capital Markets lowered its price target on Research In Motion Ltd. to $80 from $85 on potentially lower subscriber expectations and slower post-NTP recovery.
  • RBC Capital Markets lowered its estimates on Nortel Networks after the company reported some deals have slipped and its first-quarter results are expected to come in below consensus estimates. Its 2006 EPS estimate moves from 12 cents to 4 cents and its 2007 EPS estimate decreases from 18 cents to 13 cents. RBC also lowered its price target on Nortel to $3.50 from $4. R.W. Baird raised its estimates on Nortel, noting better-than-expected revenues and in-line EPS results and guidance. For 2006, it raised its EPS estimate to 5 cents from 4 cents and revenue estimates to $11.3 billion from $10.9 billion. For 2007, it increased revenue estimates to $11.9 billion from $11.6 billion and lowered its EPS estimate to 15 cents from 18 cents.
  • Harris Nesbitt lowered its estimates on L.M. Ericsson for second-quarter 2006 to 45 cents from 49 cents, saying it expects only slight sequential improvement in 2Q operating margins after Ericsson hosted an analyst briefing. Its 2006 EPS forecast increased, however, to $1.89 from $1.88, and its 2007 forecast increased to $2.18 from $2.15. Lehman Brothers lowered its price target and estimates on Ericsson to SEK 30.00 from SEK 32.00.

 

Other

 

  • CIBC World Markets adjusted its price target and estimates on Brightpoint to reflect the company’s 6:5 stock split. 2006 and 2007 estimates are 86 cents and 98 cents respectively, and its new price target is $29.
  • RBC Capital Markets raised its price target on Amdocs Ltd. to $45 from $40 based on solid business momentum, strong positioning and execution.
  • Credit Suisse First Boston raised its estimates on Analog Devices Inc. for 2006 after the company showed steady improvements during its second-quarter earnings report. New estimates for the year are EPS of $1.58 on revenues of $2.7 billion, up from EPS of $1.52 on revenues of $2.66 billion. CSFB maintained its outperform rating and $45 price target on the company. Prudential Equity Group raised its price target on ADI from $37 to $38 as well as its estimates on the company. New estimates are $1.49 from $1.34 for fiscal 2006 and $1.94 from $1.72 for fiscal 2007. RBC Capital Markets raised its 2006 estimates on the company to $1.70 from $1.68. Robert W. Baird raised its 2006 estimates on ADI to $1.53 from $1.45. Piper Jaffray raised its forecasts for 2006 to EPS of $1.70 on revenues of $2.67 billion from EPS of $1.62 on revenues of $2.97 billion.
  • Piper Jaffray upgraded its opinion on Triquint Semiconductor Inc. to outperform from market perform based on improving near-term visibility and valuation. Its price target on the company increases from $6 to $7 and estimates increase from 18 cents on revenues of $396 million to 19 cents on revenues of $402 million for 2006, and from 30 cents on $450 million in revenues to 34 cents on $452 million in revenues.
  • Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services assigned a BB corporate credit rating with a stable outlook to Crown Castle International Inc. “The ratings on Crown Castle reflect the promising prospects of its wireless tower leasing business, which is expected to generate increasingly stronger levels of net free cash flow after capital expenditures,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Catherine Cosentino.

     

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