Both Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile US Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) shares made handy gains on Tuesday after it came to light that these major telecom players were actively in merger talks. These companies rank as the third and fourth largest telecom providers in the United States, and a merger between the two could be huge.
This isn’t the first time that merger talks between these two companies has been on the table. Back in May, Sprint initiated preliminary talks with T-Mobile for a potential merger, according to Bloomberg.
Ultimately the talks aren’t between Sprint and T-Mobile per se, but between the respective parent companies, with SoftBank representing Sprint and Deutsche Telekom representing T-Mobile.
It’s been obvious for years that this industry in particular has been a very crowded space, with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) taking the top spots, leaving Sprint and T-Mobile to fight for scraps.
A merger between Sprint and T-Mobile isn’t out of the question, and it would definitely act as a leveling factor for the industry. However, there could be some serious regulatory hoops to jump through. A merger between two of the top four companies in any industry sounds suspect to say the least.
Keep in mind that Sprint and T-Mobile have a combined market cap of roughly $85.5 billion, while AT&T has a market cap of $233.0 billion and Verizon has a market cap of $199.5 billion.
Shares of Sprint were last seen up 7% at $8.23, with a consensus analyst price target of $7.28 and a 52-week range of $5.83 to $9.65. Excluding Tuesday’s move, the stock is down about 9% year to date.
T-Mobile shares were trading up 4% at $64.39. The stock has a 52-week range of $44.49 to $68.88 and a consensus price target of $71.96. Excluding Tuesday’s move, the stock is up 7.5% year to date.
Verizon traded up 2.5% at $49.28 a share, in a 52-week range of $42.80 to $54.83 and with a consensus price target of $49.59.
Shares of AT&T were last seen up about 2% at $38.13. The consensus price target is $41.03, and a 52-week range is $35.10 to $43.03.