Who Will Solve AT&T’s iPhone Problems?
The network provider for Apple’s wildly popular smartphone has struggled at points to deal with usage overload, notably at this year’s South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. While that may be bad news for the provider and its customers, it’s a business booster for a company like CommScope.
AT&Tneeds to build out its wireless infrastructure to meet the demand from iPhone users, especially with the newest iteration, the 3G S, now on the market. Cramer thinks that CommScope, thanks to its acquisition of Andrew, will get the call. But his CTV endorsement is much bigger than just a play on AT&T.
Regular Mad Money viewers know how bullish Cramer has been on the China’s expected $40 billion wireless stimulus, much of which will go toward infrastructure. Well, CommScope should benefit from that rollout, as well as one in India. Management said at its last investor presentation that the first quarter alone saw 45 million new Indian customers come on board, and they expect 100 million by year’s end. Plus, there’s the US broadband build-out, from which CommScope, along with Cisco Systems and Ciena, should see increased business as well.
Admittedly, Cramer urged a recent caller to go with Ciena or Cisco over CommScope, thinking that either of the first two were better investments on US infrastructure spending. But that was before he knew about the acquisition of Andrew, supplier for sophisticated networks, in late 2007. The move made CTV a major player in the continuing worldwide adoption of and growing access to the Internet.
Also, CommScope took on a significant amount of debt to make the Andrew deal happen, which at first was a concern. But the company recently issued $450 million in stocks and bonds and used that money to clear part of its balance sheet. So the stock’s dilution as a result of the new shares issuance, just 40 cents, is outweighed by the reduced risk of bankruptcy.
This frees CommScope up to deliver an earnings beat, and Cramer expects that to happen. He predicted $2.20 a share to $2.30 a share for 2010, thanks to China and India. And the company’s original business, cable and fiber optics, should see wider margins now that copper prices are down. That, too, will boost earnings, as will the projected $115 million in cost savings this year squeezed from synergies with Andrew.
Analysts’ earnings estimates are too low, Cramer said, which means either a beat is on the horizon or these Wall Street pros will have to raise their numbers. Either way, CTV should go higher. He urged viewers to buy the stock on Monday’s 7% dip.
Cramer's charitable trust owns Cisco Systems.
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