Report of new bid hurts Sprint stock

If Sprint Nextel is seriously weighing a counteroffer for MetroPCS, its shareholders don’t appear particularly enthusiastic — at least at first.

Shares of Sprint closed down more than 2.1 percent in trading Thursday, after Bloomberg News reported that Sprint was weighing a potential challenge to T-Mobile USA’s proposed merger with MetroPCS. The deliberations are at an early stage, according to the news report.

Strangely enough, MetroPCS shares didn’t receive the customary rise that accompanies speculation that another suitor may emerge. Soon after the report, they were down 2.6 percent. The shares, however, rallied late in the trading day to close up 3.7 percent, at $12.69.

If MetroPCS were to complete its merger with T-Mobile, it would bolster the combined company’s strength against larger rivals.

— Staff and wire reports