Every time a new carrier starts selling the iPhone, the next quarter they invariably get headlines highlighting their earnings miss due to selling too many of them. This quarter it was Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings)'s turn. Total revenues of $8.722 were above expectations, while loss per share of $0.43 missed analyst projections by six cents. Adjusted OIBDA was $842M and free cash flow was $257M for the fourth quarter.
Wireless: Sprint sold 1.8M iPhones in the quarter, 40% of which were to new customers and the balance to their existing base. That gave them a net increase of 1.6M subscribers, the best in 7 years. They had 161K net postpaid additions. After churning for years, the iPhone is helping Sprint post some decent growth at last.
Wireline: Revenues from Sprint's wireline business saw less deterioration than they have lately, posting revenues of $1.054B and Adj. OIBDA of $178M. Capex remained at usual levels at $34M, or just over 3% of revenue. That's obviously steady as she goes in terms of running the business for cash flow. One wonders when they will monetize it entirely, but I have heard nothing new lately on that subject.
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