Morningstar Rating

Stock Research and Analysis

by Imari Love

Bulls Say

In late 2012, the firm reached a deal with Sprint to sell its spectrum and customers in its Midwest markets. This not only allows the firm to exit markets it was not able to compete in, but it gains $485 million that it could potentially use to return to shareholders.
U.S. Cellular makes nearly twice as much ARPU on its smartphone customers (now almost half of its postpaid base) than it does on an average one.
In May 2013, USM announced it has signed a deal with Apple to sell the iPhone. This should help boost subscriber growth and lower postpaid churn rates. Read more 

Bears Say

After announcing its deal with Apple to sell the iPhone, the firm lowered its 2013 outlook for revenue and earnings.
Verizon Wireless' recent spectrum acquisition could prompt AT&T to follow suit and try to aggressively acquire more frequency bandwidth. USM says they have sufficient spectrum for its initial LTE rollout, but the gap between its peers could be widening.
The Carlson family controls the voting interests of the firm and historically has not always acted in the best interests of its shareholder base. Read more 

Management

In June 2013, U.S. Cellular announced that Mary Dillon, its president and CEO since June 2010, was leaving to take the chief executive role at Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance. In her three years at USM, Dillon tried instituting several new initiatives   Read more 

Profile

U.S. Cellular is the nation's sixth-largest provider of wireless service with nearly 5 million customers across the U.S. The company's operations are headquartered in Chicago.  Read more 

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