Crest Financial reports 5.9% stake in Clearwire


Crest Financial Ltd. reported a 5.9% stake in Clearwire Corp., making it one of the telecommunications company’s largest shareholders, and said it seeks to discuss the possibility of adding members to the company’s board.

In a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission Friday, Crest Financial said it believes Clearwire’s shares are undervalued at current levels. Crest also said it will seek to have discussions with Clearwire to discuss the company’s business and strategies.
Clearwire has been hurt by the prospect of rising costs as it builds its fourth-generation network, known as 4G LTE. The company is betting rising data usage among customers on iPhones and tablet computers will justify an initial $600 million tab for the buildout. But it will have to compete against Sprint Nextel Corp., AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and others rolling out the zippier wireless service to reach broad swaths of the country.
Clearwire is due a $600 million payment from Sprint this year for unlimited access to its existing 4G network, which uses a technology known as WiMax, and Sprint will tap Clearwire’s 4G LTE service to help supplement its own.
In April, Clearwire reported its first-quarter loss narrowed as the wholesale-mobile-broadband provider posted lower operating costs and boosted revenue on higher subscriber numbers.
Shares closed at $1.16 Friday and were unchanged after hours. The stock is off 74% over the past 12 months.