Sprint’s (NYSE: S) Framily Plan commercials are interesting and perhaps entertaining to some viewers. The problem today is that Sprint no longer wants to make a family with T-Mobile (NYSE: TMUS).
Shares of Sprint are off 18.3% on volume that is nearly nine times the daily average while shares of T-Mobile are lower by 7.1% on turnover that is already more than double the daily average after the former scrapped its $40 per share for T-Mobile. Sprint also announced Marcelo Claure, founder of mobile phone distributor Brightstar, will replace Dan Hesse as CEO of Sprint. Hesse has been leading Sprint since 2007.
News of the scuttled Sprint/T-Mobile marriage is pressure telecom ETFs. That is ETFs as in exchange traded funds not early termination fees. Shares of the iShares U.S. Telecommunications ETF (NYSEArca: IYZ) are off 2.1% while the rival Vanguard Telecommunication Services ETF (NYSEArca: VOX) is lower by 1.6%.
With Wednesday’s declines, IYZ and VOX are giving back substantial portions of the gains accrued on July 29 when the ETFs soared after Windstream Holdings (NasdaqGS: WIN) said it will spin-off its telecom network business into a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT). [Windstream Lifts Telecom ETFs]
Sprint is the tenth-largest holding in the $582.3 million IYZ at a weight of almost 4%. The company was the seventh-largest holding in VOX, occupying 3% of that ETF at the end of June, according to Vanguard data.
T-Mobile is also a top-10 holding in both ETFs. The unit of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom (OTC: DTEGY) commands just over 5% off IYZ’s weight and 3.2% of VOX. T-Mobile is also poised to reject a takeover offer from France’s Iliad.
That does not mean T-Mobile or Sprint are no longer targets. Dish Network (NasdaqGS: DISH) previously showed interest in Sprint before losing out on the company to Japan’s Softbank. It is possible Dish makes a move on either Sprint or T-Mobile. Dish is the fourth-largest holding in the PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio (NYSEArca: PBS) with a weight of 5%.
iShares U.S. Telecommunications ETF