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Leap Wireless lowered to B3 on high leverage, competition

Leap Wireless International Inc., a wireless communications provider, sports a B3 corporate rating following the one-level downgrade from Moody's Investors Service.

Moody's pointed to "high leverage, weak operating performance and the intensely competitive nature of the U.S. wireless industry."

The senior unsecured notes of Leap's subsidiary Cricket Communications Inc. was lowered to Caa1. Cricket is making a $1.425 term-loan refinancing that will reduce interest cost by $30 million a year, Moody's calculates.

San Diego-based Leap (Nasdaq: LEAP) this week reported a $187.3 million net loss for 2012 on revenue of $3.142 billion. In 2011, the net loss was $317.7 million.

Leap is down 13 cents to $5.56 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. In the last three years, the high was $18.89 on April 23, 2010. The low was $4.42 on Aug. 8.

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