Sprint Nextel may be undervalued by 50 pct-Barron's

NEW YORK, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Sprint Nextel's S.N battered stock could rise as much as 50 percent, as the No. 3 wireless-service provider boosts its subscriber base and regains Wall Street's respect, Barron's reported on Sunday.

A rocky merger with Nextel, a costly build-out of its network and excess debt prompted investors to dump the stock from mid-2007 to November 2008.

But Sprint’s growth in prepaid subscriptions, boosted by its acquisition of Virgin Mobile, could reverse the losses in subscriber count and lead to net growth in 2010. This ultimately could boost shares as much as 50 percent, Barron’s said.

Sprint Nextel shares closed at $3.69 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Leslie Adler)