Tags: Earns | Sprint Nextel

Sprint Posts Smallest Quarterly Loss in 4 Years

Wednesday, 26 Oct 2011 08:09 AM

Sprint Nextel Corp. on Wednesday reported its smallest quarterly loss in four years, as it continued a turnaround and kept getting better at keeping and attracting customers.

The country's No. 3 wireless carrier added a net 1.3 million subscribers in the July to September period, the best result since 2006. Sprint continued to lose subscribers from its lucrative contract-based plans, but at a relatively low rate: 44,000 in the quarter.

Sprint's total customer count, 53.4 million, is now back at where it was in 2007, before the exodus of Nextel customers turned into a torrent.

The Overland Park, Kan.-based company has made steady gains in the last year and a half. Unfortunately for the company, most of the new customers are low-paying ones. They buy service from Sprint's low-cost Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile or Assurance Wireless brands, or from non-Sprint brands that use the company's network.

The latest subscriber results don't include the effect of the iPhone, which Sprint started selling Oct. 14. The phone is expected to further improve the carrier's ability to keep customers, but at a high price. Apple charges about $600 for a phone that Sprint sells for $200.

Sprint on Wednesday said it had raised the limit on its credit line by $150 million and amended the terms so that an increase in the total amount of phone discounts doesn't affect its creditworthiness. It said it had $1 billion undrawn on the line.

Sprint net loss was $301 million, or 10 cents per share, for the third quarter. That's down from $911 million, or 28 cents per share, a year ago. It was the best performance by Sprint since it reported a profit of $64 million in the third quarter of 2007.

Revenue rose 2.2 percent to $8.3 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 22 cents per share on $8.4 billion in revenue.

Its shares rose 7 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $2.77 in premarket trading.

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Sprint Nextel Corp. on Wednesday reported its smallest quarterly loss in four years, as it continued a turnaround and kept getting better at keeping and attracting customers. The country's No. 3 wireless carrier added a net 1.3 million subscribers in the July to September...
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Wednesday, 26 Oct 2011 08:09 AM
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