Clearwire Keeps Falling

Would-be mobile WiMax carrier Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR)'s stock hit a 52-week low on the Nasdaq Tuesday, dropping as low as $8.98.

The Kirkland, Wash.-based operator's shares have generally been falling in price since early June but started to dip below the $10 mark at the end of last week and have remained in the doldrums since then.

Clearwire apparently can't get a break in the current market despite recent upgrades from analyst houses RBC Capital Markets and Citigroup . RBC initiated coverage with an Outperform rating and a target price of $17, while Citi upgraded the carrier's stock target price to $13.

Despite this, the operator's share price has continued its overall decline to single-digitville.

Clearwire is supposed to launch its first mobile WiMax deployment in Portland, Ore., sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. This will be followed by launches in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Grand Rapids, Mich. The operator's partner, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), is expected to commercially launch its first mobile WiMax network in Baltimore, Md., in September. (See Clearwire: We're Ready for Primetime, WiMax Folks: Open Your Eyes , and CLWR: Where It's at With WiMax.)

After this, the two operators are supposed to combine mobile WiMax networks into one -- eventual -- nationwide whole. Unstrung called Clearwire today to see if the firm has any update on the status of the deal. "We continue to expect the transaction to close during the fourth quarter of 2008, and will keep you posted on any updates," a company spokeswoman said in an email reply.

Clearwire closed the trading day down $0.46, or 4.84 percent, to $9.04 per share, although the stock climbed to $9.20 in early after-hours trading.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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