Shares of Sprint Nextel Corp. on Wednesday climbed to a 52-week high and rose 8 percent, indicating increased investor confidence in the nation's third-largest wireless carrier.
Sprint climbed to a high of $5.49 before closing at $5.39 on the New York Stock Exchange.
The stock price rose 40 cents one day after the company announced plans to retire about $1.5 billion in debt.
“Sprint has been boosted by several things," Kevin Smithen, an analyst at Macquarie Capital USA Inc. in New York, told Bloomberg. “There’s also a sense that they will lead the eventual consolidation of the smaller players like MetroPCS and Leap, which will help them with deleveraging and also eliminate some of the competition."
Still, Sprint is not in the same financial position as its rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless. It's saddled with $21.3 billion in consolidated debt (as of June 30) and has been losing billions annually.