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Buy T-Mobile shares because it will likely buy back stock and initiate a big dividend: Deutsche Bank

  • Deutsche Bank raises its rating for T-Mobile shares to buy from hold, predicting the company will increase its dividend and stock buybacks.
  • The upgrade comes despite the collapse of merger talks with Sprint on Saturday.
Pedestrians pass by a T-Mobile ad in the New York City subway.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Pedestrians pass by a T-Mobile ad in the New York City subway.

T-Mobile will still thrive on a stand-alone basis, according to a Wall Street firm.

Talks between Sprint and T-Mobile over a possible merger have come to a halt, both companies announced Saturday.

Deutsche Bank on Thursday raised its rating for T-Mobile shares to buy from hold, predicting the company will increase its dividend and stock buybacks.

"The 'new reality' of US Wireless includes maturing/slowing growth, and rising competition (both from T-Mobile/Sprint, as well as new Cable MVNOs). Amidst this backdrop, we think T-Mobile is best positioned," analyst Matthew Niknam wrote in the note to clients.

"Relative to service provider peers, we believe T-Mobile is a stand out given the combination of growth, profitability/FCF and accelerating shareholder returns."

Niknam reaffirmed his $65 price target for T-Mobile shares, representing 16 percent upside from Wednesday's close.

The analyst said the company's current debt to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) multiple is 2.6 times versus the company's target range of 3 times to 4 times. As a result, he believes T-Mobile can take on more debt enabling increased shareholder capital return.

"We see an increasing likelihood of buybacks/dividends in upcoming periods," he wrote. "If we assume TMUS were to go to the low-end of its leverage target (3x), it could (theoretically) return 50% of its market cap in the form of shareholder returns by 2020."

The company currently does not have a dividend, according to FactSet.

T-Mobile shares are underperforming the market so far this year. Its stock is down 2 percent year to date through Wednesday compared with the S&P 500's 16 percent return.