Sprint loss widens on Nextel, iPhone lifts sales

Apr 25, 2012 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- The impending shutdown of the Nextel network doubled Sprint Nextel Corp.'s loss in the first quarter, it said Wednesday, as it wrote down the value of the network and subscribers kept leaving it.

Investors, however, were cheered by a big jump in wireless service fees, due to new iPhone subscribers and a $10 monthly surcharge Sprint instituted for smartphones last year. Sprint shares rose 19 cents, or 7.7 percent, to $2.66 in premarket trading. The shares are still close to a three-year low of $2.10 hit in January.

Since buying Nextel in 2005, Sprint has struggled with the cost of running two disparate , even as Nextel customers have cancelled service in droves. The Nextel network, with its signature walkie-talkie-like "push-to-talk" capability, is set to shut down at the end of the year. Nextel subscribers stepped up their cancellations in the first quarter.

The Overland Park, Kan., company used to lose customers from the as well, but CEO Dan Hesse has turned that trend around, with a focus on customer service. In the of last year, Sprint got a big boost when it started to sell the iPhone.

In the latest quarter, the effect faded a bit, and Sprint missed for an all-important figure: The number of new subscribers under contract. It lost a net 192,000, including Nextel. Looking solely on the Sprint side, the net gain was 263,000, up just a smidge from last year's figure.

Sprint's net loss from January through March was $863 million, or 29 cents per share. In the same quarter last year, the Overland Park, Kan., company's loss was $439 million, or 15 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet were on average expecting a loss of 42 cents per share.

Revenue was $8.73 billion, up 5 percent from a year ago. Analysts were expecting $8.71 billion.

Explore further: Two more former Sony workers sue over data breach

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sprint Nextel slows subscriber loss in 4th quarter

Feb 10, 2010

(AP) -- Sprint Nextel says its subscriber losses slowed in the fourth quarter, an encouraging sign for the wireless carrier that has lost millions of customers over the past few years.

Sprint gains contract subscribers in 4Q

Feb 10, 2011

(AP) -- Sprint Nextel Corp. said Thursday it managed to post a quarterly net gain of contract subscribers for the first time since 2007, as its turnaround continues.

New Sprint does push-to-talk without Nextel

Sep 27, 2011

(AP) -- Sprint Nextel Corp. will start shutting down the Nextel part of its network in little more than a year. So what are the folks who use Nextel's walkie-talkie-like push-to-talk function going to do?

Sprint Nextel posts first subscriber gain in 3 yrs

Jul 28, 2010

(AP) -- Sprint Nextel Corp. said Wednesday that it gained subscribers in its latest quarter, the first such gain in three years, as it continued to improve customer service and retention.

Sprint to stop selling certain push-to-talk phones

Nov 30, 2009

(AP) -- Sprint Nextel Corp. is giving up on a technology that allows some Sprint-branded phones to use a "push-to-talk" walkie-talkie service similar to what's available on the company's Nextel-branded phones.

Sprint adds 1.1M subscribers, halves 1Q loss

Apr 28, 2011

(AP) -- Sprint Nextel Corp. on Thursday said it added more wireless subscribers in the first quarter than it has in five years, mainly on cheap service plans, as its turnaround continued despite the new threat ...

Recommended for you

Two more former Sony workers sue over data breach

10 hours ago

Two more former employees of Sony Pictures Entertainment are suing the company over the massive data breach in which their personal and financial information was stolen and posted online.

Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

11 hours ago

Online shopping has become as volatile as stock market trading. Wild, minute-by-minute price swings on everything from clothes to TVs have made it difficult for holiday shoppers to "buy low."

'Interview' ordeal at Sony just its latest crisis

15 hours ago

How do you say "damage control" in Japanese? Sony Corp. is sealed within a hermetic cone of silence as executives try to prevent the slow motion train wreck at Sony Pictures from damaging the rest of the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.