updated 06:22 am EDT, Tue July 30, 2013
Nextel closure, non-cash charges increase carrier loss
Sprint has recorded high revenues in its latest quarterly results, though it is not plain sailing for the carrier. While it has achieved $7.2 billion in earnings for the period, an increase of eight percent compared to last year and a minor drop compared to the $8.8 billion in the previous quarter, it still managed to make a loss overall.
In the quarter, Sprint managed an operating loss of $874 million and a net loss of $1.6 billion, though this includes non-cash charges of $623 million and a $430 million write-off for the now-shutdown Nextel network. Sprint managed to gain more than 4 million Nextel subscribers from the carrier since the Network Vision commencement in early 2011, and boasts a 44-percent postpaid recapture rate.
Subscriber numbers have decreased overall compared to the previous quarter, from 55.2 million to 53.6 million, with roughly even reductions in both retail postpaid and prepaid subscribers, and a lower number of wholesale users. In terms of mobile phone sales, Sprint claims around 86 percent were for smartphones, with 41 percent of the 1.4 million iPhone sales going to new customers. The 1.4 million figure is a slight drop from the 1.5 million iPhones sold last quarter, and down further from the 2.2 million sales record in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Despite the lower figures, Sprint still has a lot to shout about. Its Network Vision deployment now stands at 20,000 sites on-air, an improvement on the 13,500 in the first quarter, with the total number of sites that are either ready for construction, under construction, or completed has grown to over 30,000. It also managed to complete its US Cellular and Clearwire transactions, which should improve network capacity in various markets, as well as the $21.6 billion acquisition by SoftBank, which adds an extra $5 billion in cash.