With the proposed Softbank transaction still fresh in our minds yet far from completion, Sprint has at least a couple of quarters to push forward in its current form. Today's earnings report wasn't even part of that of course, as not even rumors of the deal had emerged by the end of the third quarter. Sprint's Q3 was relatively strong overall, with the wireless business carrying things as usual.
Revenues of $8.76B were generally inline with expectations, while net loss per share of $0.26 was materially better than expected. They sold 1.5M iPhones in the third quarter. Meanwhile, they are still plugging away at the LTE buildout with some delays slowing things down, and at shutting down the Nextel platform.
On the wireline side, results were rather mixed. Revenues declined sharply again to $939M, with the damage being 6% sequentially and 12% over the same quarter last year. However adjusted OIBDA rose to $158M, with margins therefore jumping sharply to 16.8%. Capex, like the prior quarter, remained relatively high in comparison with the recent past at $60M, probably related to the backbone DWDM upgrade the company announced over the summer.
I continue to feel that the Softbank deal may be the catalyst for a final split between the wireless and wireline division. Whether that comes in the form of a divestment to satisfy federal regulators or as a means to raise cash or gain allies for the wireless business remains to be seen. It won't happen until the Spring thaws though, probably.
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