Leap Wireless Shares Surged: 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 prepaid wireless service provider Leap Wireless International (NAS: LEAP) made good on its name today, leaping as much as 19.1% on absolutely crushing trade volume.

So what: Last night's third-quarter report put pep in the Cricket network owner's step. Churn is lower, subscriber additions are trending up, and revenue is on the rise.

Now what:Direct rivalMetroPCS Communications (NYS: PCS) fell through the floor due to a report as disappointing as Leap's was inspiring. The secret spice in Leap's recipe comes from smartphone sales and Muve Music devices, both of which are driving customers to choose feature-rich products tethered to more profitable service plans.

This, of course, is hardly a unique strategy: Verizon (NYS: VZ) and AT&T (NYS: T) have been milking the smartphone cow for years, and Sprint Nextel (NYS: S) hopes to tap into that rich vein with brand-new iPhone sales. Smartphone sales accounted for 50% of total sales this quarter, so Leap is clearly executing on the high-value vision.

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At the time this article was published

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