Shares of Dish Network rose more than 8% ($1.82) in early trading Thursday after Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin released a report speculating that the time may be right for AT&T to buy the No. 2 satellite TV service provider.
Speculation that AT&T would attempt to buy Dish has run hot and cold for years. But Dish's recent moves to acquire wireless spectrum could make the satellite company even more attractive.
Dish shares climbed as high as $24 each on Feb. 10 (up 8.2% or $1.82 per share). The stock has since settled back, priced at $23.39 (up 5.4% or $1.21 each) at 2:45 p.m..
Dish recently said it would acquire bankrupt hybrid satellite and terrestrial communications company DBSD for $1 billion, a move that would give Dish access to a block of 20 MHz MSS wireless spectrum that Chaplin wrote could be worth between $3 billion and $5 billion. Coupled with Dish chairman Charlie Ergen's play for another 20 MHz of MSS spectrum owned by TerreStar - through EchoStar Satellite, a former Dish affiliate - and Chaplin believes that AT&T may not be able to resist.