Why MetroPCS and Leap Wireless Shares Leapt Higher

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 carriers MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS) and Leap Wireless (Nasdaq: LEAP) have leapt higher today, up by as much as 26% and 16%, respectively, on reports that T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom is in talks to acquire MetroPCS.

So what: That would bolster its T-Mobile division's presence in the prepaid space, while the parent company made it clear that significant issues weren't finalized yet, and the deal may or may not occur at all. T-Mobile would become more competitive with its larger rivals, gaining efficiencies from scale.

Now what: While not directly involved, Leap is another player in the prepaid segment with its popular Cricket brand, and there has been much talk of industry consolidation lately, and investors are clearly hoping that Leap could be next. This comes shortly after AT&T's (NYSE: T) failed attempt to acquire T-Mobile late last year. Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) shares are down as the carrier was expected to play a role in consolidation after some comments by CEO Dan Hesse, and Deutsche Telekom might be taking MetroPCS out of play.

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