Sprint second-quarter loss widens on Nextel charges

NEW YORK, Thu Jul 26, 2012 – Sprint Nextel Corp. on Thursday posted a wider quarterly loss as it took hefty charges for the planned shutdown of its old Nextel network.
The No. 3 U.S. mobile service reported a loss of 246,000 subscribers in the quarter, compared with the average expectation of about 203,000 subscriber losses, according to five analysts contacted by Reuters.
The customer numbers included losses of 688,000 subscribers on the Nextel network, which Sprint bought in 2005. On top of the work Sprint is doing to shut down the older network, the company is spending billions of dollars to upgrade its own network.
In contrast, Sprint’s bigger rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc., both added customers in the quarter.
Sprint, which committed to spend $15.5 billion on Apple Inc. iPhones over the next few years, said that its iPhone sales had declined in the quarter.
The quarterly loss widened to $1.37 billion or 46 cents per share, from $847 million, or 28 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. The loss included a $782 million depreciation charge for the network decommissioning and an impairment cost related to the share price of its Clearwirel Corp. venture.
Net operating revenue rose to $8.8 billion from $8.3 billion. Analysts expected $8.727 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sprint shares down, analyst cites bankruptcy risk

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Mon Mar 19, 2012 – Shares in Sprint Nextel fell more than 4 percent after an analyst report said there is an increasing risk that the No. 3 U.S. mobile provider could end up filing for bankruptcy as the debt-laden company faces steep costs due to factors such as its iPhone deal with Apple Inc.

Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett downgraded Sprint shares to “underperform” from “market-perform” saying that the company will face “new and larger risks” if Apple launches a high-speed iPhone later this year based on a technology that Sprint’s bigger rivals have installed more widely than Sprint.

“To be clear, we are not predicting a Sprint bankruptcy. We are merely acknowledging that it is a very legitimate risk. And notwithstanding a recent rally in Sprint shares, we believe that risk is rising,” Moffett said in a research note.

A Sprint spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

Sprint shares were down 13 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $2.76 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange after the report was released.