Sprint 1Q loss smaller than anticipated; adds new customers

Earlier this year, Legere claimed that T-Mobile had already surpassed Sprint, but now the numbers back up the switch no matter how you look at them. However, Sprint shares are still down 12% year to date, versus a 54% increase for T-Mobile shares. “As a result of the added optimism, it boosted its adjusted EBITDA outlook for fiscal 2015 from “$6.5 to $6.9 billion to a range of $7.2 and $7.6 billion”.

The company is also pointing to a record low churn rate of 1.56 percent as another good sign and evidence that its new David Beckham-led advertising campaign and attractive rate plans may be turning things around.

Sprint said it ended the quarter just short of 57.7 million connections on its network, officially ceding the No. 3 position in the domestic mobile market to T-Mobile US, which ended the quarter with 2.1 million new connections and 58.9 million total connections on its network.

For Q1 specifically, Sprint gained 675,000 net customers and 310,000 new postpaid customers, compared to the more than 2 million new customers joining T-Mobile. Chairman (and SoftBank CEO) Masayoshi Son says that American networks as a whole are “very bad” – he thinks Sprint can improve this reputation without spending a ton of money. Cash capital expenditures, excluding leased device costs, rose to USD 1.8 billion from USD 1.3 billion a year ago, and Sprint said it expects the figure to reach USD 5 billion for the full year.

Revenue fell 8.7% to $8.03 billion, while analysts had forecast revenue of $8.31 billion. Sprint said it reversed the loss of phones for the first time in two years though, with net gains in May, June and July.

T-Mobile and its bombastic CEO John Legere have been making waves in the US wireless industry, and consumers have been taking notice.

At the bottom line, Sprint had a net loss of United States dollars 20 million, hurt by the higher depreciation charges, compared to a profit of USD 23 million a year ago.

“Going forward, we are confident in our plan to leverage our unique spectrum assets to make our network a competitive advantage, aggressively reduce operating costs, and utilise our business relationships and assets to fund our turnaround”, Claure said.

On Monday, Sprint said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Eutenauer would step down after holding the post for more than four years through a period of financial distress.

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