Embattled US #3 wireless provider Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) reported another quarter of sequential growth, ahead of analyst expectations of a drop. Revenues of $8.313B were indeed a hair higher than last quarter and up 3% over the same period last year, while loss per share improved to $0.15, clearly ahead of composite expectations which Yahoo Finance had pegged at a loss of $0.21. The market likes the overall results thus far, though it’s early.
On the wireless side, media reports have focused in on the loss of another 114K net postpaid wireless subscribers, which was higher than some projected. Meanwhile, total net wireless subscribers rose solidly by 1.1M carried by more of those pesky prepaid subscribers. But no matter your perspective, Sprint is clearly having a better time of it now than a year or two ago in the wireless arena. Verizon’s new iPhone sales and AT&T’s intent to purchase T-Mobile cast an obvious shadow over the future, though neither is causing any trouble just now. Well, that and the little Verizon 4G snafu the other day.
On the wireline front, however, Sprint’s fortunes waned a bit more than usual. Revenues fell rather sharply to $1.12B from $1.23B in the prior quarter – almost 9% – due to an annual intercompany rate reduction as well as the expected loss of cable VoIP customers. Presumably the latter was from Time Warner Cable? Lower revenues took a toll on both adjusted OIBDA and adjusted OIBDA margin, which fell to $228M and 20.4% for the quarter. Since some of that was intercompany, that part of OIBDA simply moved over to the wireless division I guess. Nevertheless, the wireline division’s trajectory seems likely to continue its decline, given that capex remained low at $53M for the quarter.
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