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Sprint Reports Better Q4 Than Expected

Adding subscribers where a big decline was anticipated.

Susan Law Cain / Shutterstock

Wireless carrier Sprint just reported quarterly results that were better than what analysts had expected. Its shares are up more than seven percent in pre-market trading.

Sprint reported a loss for the quarter of $1 billion, or 26 cents per share, which was better than the 32-cent loss that analysts had expected. Revenue, at $9.14 billion, was also slightly ahead of the consensus view of $9 billion.

The company added 58,000 postpaid subscribers during the quarter. Analysts had expected a big decline, in part because of huge additions at rivals Verizon and T-Mobile. Sprint also said it sold 5.6 million smartphones, and said its mix of smartphones reached 95 percent among postpaid subscribers and 66 percent among prepaids. It ended the year with 53.9 million subscribers overall, its highest level ever.

For the year ahead, Sprint said that it expects to earn between $6.5 billion and $6.7 billion on an EBITDA basis, and that it expects to spend $8 billion in capital expenditures.

Here’s the original press release.

Sprint Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results

Fourth quarter Operating Loss improved 22 percent to $576 million; Adjusted EBITDA* of $1.15 billion improved by nearly 40 percent or more than $300 million year-over-year compared to combined prior year results

Combined annual Operating Loss of $1.9 billion

Annual Adjusted EBITDA* of $5.4 billion grew 13 percent year-over-year
Highest-ever annual Sprint platform wireless service revenue of $28.6 billion grew more than 5 percent year-over-year

Fourth quarter Sprint platform wireless service revenue of $7.2 billion grew year-over-year for the 15th consecutive quarter

Best-ever annual Sprint platform postpaid ARPU of $64.07

Highest-ever Sprint platform subscribers at 53.9 million

682,000 total Sprint platform net additions in the fourth quarter

58,000 Sprint platform postpaid net additions in the fourth quarter

Annual retail smartphone sales of 20.5 million and a record 95 percent of quarterly Sprint platform postpaid handset sales were smartphones

Continued progress on the Network

More than 200 million people covered by 4G LTE

Sprint Spark available in 14 of the largest U.S. cities including today’s launches in Philadelphia and Baltimore

Launched revolutionary new Sprint FramilySM that redefines traditional wireless family plans


Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S) today reported operating revenue, which grew year-over-year to more than $9.1 billion for the fourth quarter and to $35.5 billion for the full year 2013. Operating loss was $576 million in the fourth quarter, a 22 percent year-over-year improvement. Quarterly Adjusted EBITDA* of $1.15 billion improved nearly 40 percent year-over-year. Annual Adjusted EBITDA* of $5.4 billion improved by 13 percent.

“In 2013 Adjusted EBITDA* and Sprint platform wireless revenues grew significantly while we made investments to improve network performance and expand 4G LTE to more than 200 million people,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “As we roll out Sprint SparkTM and create innovative offers like Sprint FramilySM, we are building a foundation for future success.”

Sprint Platform Subscriber Net Additions of 682,000 and Record Smartphone Sales Mix

Sprint ended the year with 53.9 million Sprint platform subscribers – its highest level ever – after adding 58,000 postpaid subscribers, 322,000 prepaid subscribers and 302,000 wholesale and affiliate subscribers in the fourth quarter. Sprint sold 5.6 million smartphones in the fourth quarter and 20.5 million smartphones for the year with smartphone sales mix reaching 95 percent for postpaid and 66 percent for prepaid in the quarter.

Net Income and Operating Loss Improve Year-Over-Year; Adjusted EBITDA* Up Nearly 40 percent Year-Over-Year

Quarterly net loss was $1 billion in the fourth quarter as compared to a loss of $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. Operating loss for the quarter was $576 million as compared to an operating loss of $738 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Quarterly Adjusted EBITDA* of $1.15 billion improved nearly 40 percent year-over-year as growth in Sprint platform service revenue, network savings resulting from the Nextel platform shutdown and lower net subsidy expense were partially offset by the loss of Nextel platform revenue and the consolidation of Clearwire’s results.

LTE Coverage Now Available to More than 200 Million People; Sprint SparkTM Now in 14 Markets

Sprint currently has nearly 33,000 Network Vision sites on air, an increase of more than 24,000 sites over the last 12 months. LTE coverage is now available to more than 200 million people. The company continues to expect that by the middle of this year LTE coverage will reach 250 million people and the voice/3G network modernization deployment will be complete.

During the fourth quarter the company unveiled Sprint Spark – a combination of advanced network and device technology with the potential to surpass wireless speeds of any U.S. network provider, capable of delivering 50-60 Megabits per second peak speeds today with potential speeds three times as fast by late 2015. Sprint Spark leverages the company’s 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz spectrum together with devices offering tri-band capability and high-definition voice1.

Sprint plans to deploy Sprint Spark in about 100 of America’s largest cities during the next three years. By the end of this year, 100 million Americans are expected to have Sprint Spark coverage. Today, Sprint Spark launches in Philadelphia and Baltimore and, with the recent launch in Kansas City, is currently available in 14 markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Ten Sprint Spark-capable devices are currently available, including the recently updated Samsung Galaxy S® 4, Samsung Galaxy MEGA™, HTC One® max, LG G Flex and NETGEAR® Zing Mobile Hotspot™.

Sprint Framily Pricing Program Lets Customers Decide

Earlier this year, Sprint introduced Sprint Framily, a new pricing program available to new and existing customers that lets consumers decide who they consider family. With Sprint Framily, the more people added to the group (up to 10 phone lines), the greater the savings for everyone on the plan.

For one line of service, new Sprint customers pay $55 per month per line for unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data while on the Sprint network. For each additional new Sprint customer who joins the Framily group, the cost per person goes down $5 a month up to a maximum monthly discount of $30 per line. With a group of at least seven people, each customer gets unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data while on the Sprint network for $25 per month per line (pricing excludes taxes and surcharges).

All members of the group can customize their plan and for an additional $20 per month per line, Framily members can buy up to unlimited data plus get a new phone every year. Each account can be billed separately.

Sprint Garners Third-Party Recognition

Sprint received notable awards in the fourth quarter. In particular, CEVA Logistics, one of the world’s leading supply chain companies, named Sprint as Technology Supplier of the Year. Pinsight Media+, Sprint’s mobile media company, received the 2013 North American Mobile Advertising Product Leadership Award from Frost & Sullivan, and Dan Hesse was named Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2013. Last month, Compass Intelligence named Sprint the most “Eco Focused Wireless Carrier,” and Sprint was the only U.S. telecommunications company to be named an Efficiency Leader to the 2014 National Capital Leaders Index by GreenBiz Group and Trucost. Additionally, for the second year in a row, Sprint was rated 16th in Chief Executive Magazine’s Best Companies for Leaders list.


The company expects 2014 Adjusted EBITDA* to be between $6.5 billion and $6.7 billion.

The company expects 2014 capital expenditures of approximately $8 billion.

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