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October 29, 2012

Sprint Misses Third Quarter Estimates, Activates 1.5 Million New iPhones

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

U.S. wireless provider Sprint (News - Alert), which was recently acquired by Japan’s SoftBank for $20.1 billion, has revealed its earnings results for the third quarter. For the period ending September 30, the company reported negative earnings per share of $.26 on revenues of $7.3 billion, an increase of nearly six percent year-over-year. This figure is down from revenues of $8.8 billion in the second quarter of this year. The company also reported an operating loss of $231 million. Wall Street analysts had estimated that Sprint would lose $.44 per share with revenues of $8.8 billion.

The company had pinned its hopes on new iPhone (News - Alert) activations. The company saw activations of 1.5 million iPhones during the quarter…precisely the same number as last quarter. The company is lagging behind its bigger competitors, Verizon and AT&T (News - Alert), both of which reported stronger third quarter numbers, with both selling a 3.1 million and 4.7 million iPhones, respectively, according to TechCrunch today.

TechCrunch notes that while Sprint can’t quite match its larger competitor’s numbers, the increase it saw in post-paid subscribers compared to the same quarter last year is true evidence that its long-term plans after the Softbank (News - Alert) purchase are working. While Sprint’s iPhone activations are flat from the 1.5 million last quarter, 40 percent of that represents new customers. Post-paid subscriber base grew with net additions of 410,000.

In fact, Sprint’s postpaid subscriber base grew for the tenth consecutive quarter, with net additions of 410,000 driven by a postpaid Nextel recapture rate of 59 percent and best ever third quarter churn.

“The Sprint platform performed well, with strong net subscriber additions, record third quarter postpaid and prepaid churn and robust revenue growth, contributing to Adjusted OIBDA of $1.28 billion even as we continue to invest in Network Vision and position the company for future growth,” said Dan Hesse (News - Alert), Sprint CEO. “As a result, we believe we will slightly exceed the top of the range of our recently increased Adjusted OIBDA forecast.”

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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