Sprint Nextel Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Sprint Nextel (NYS: S) fell more than 12% in early trading before closing off 7%. The nation's third-largest carrier reported better-than-expected third-quarter results but scared investors by committing to a new deal with Clearwire (NAS: CLWR) .

So what: Just last month, Sprint said it would build an LTE network with LightSquared. Today, CEO Dan Hesse told investors that Sprint and Clearwire had entered a "nonbinding cooperation" agreement to build yet another LTE network. To say this is getting silly is insulting silly people.

Now what: Either way, Sprint needs a faster data network to keep pace with the LTE buildouts under way at AT&T (NYS: T) and Verizon (NYS: VZ) . I'm just not sure a deal with Clearwire will help much, if at all. Do you agree? Disagree? Please weigh in using the comments box below.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorTim Beyersis a member of theMotley Fool Rule Breakersstock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Check out Tim'sportfolio holdingsandFoolish writings, or connect with him onGoogle+or Twitter, where he goes by@milehighfool. You can also get his insightsdelivered directly to your RSS reader.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of AT&T. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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