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Partial acquisition by Japanese carrier

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) posted a rather grim earnings report for its fiscal Q4 2012, however, the blow was softened somewhat by its pending $20B USD partial acquisition by Japanese carrier giant Softbank Corp. (TYO:9984).  Sprint is losing money -- and subscribers -- but is expected to benefit from Softbank's commitment to finance a large network upgrade to 4G LTE in 2013.

Sprint lost $1.32B USD on revenue of $9B USD in Q4 2012.  That represents a 3.2 percent rise in revenue, but essentially no shift on the loss front (in 2011 Sprint lost $1.3B USD in Q4).  Sprint lost 337,000 customers for the quarter (about the same as the Q4 2011) losses and its sister Nextel network lost 1 million subscribers.

Rivals Verizon Wireless -- the U.S. mobile carrier jointly owned by Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) -- and AT&T Inc. (Tboth added customers for the quarter.  Verizon added 2.1 million new contract subscribers, while AT&T bumped subscriptions by 780,000.

Sprint sign
[Image Source: Scott Lippincott]

Sprint's postpaid offerings did quite well and it did manage to sell 2.2 million iPhones in the quarter (versus 8.6 million iPhones sold by AT&T and 6.2 million iPhones by Verizon).

For the year Sprint gained about 605,000 customers thanks to strong postpaid performance.  Sprint lost $4.3B USD for the year on revenue of $35.3B USD.

Sprint has begun constructing LTE network capabilities in 450 cities.  Its current network covers 58 cities, and 170 more will be added in "coming months". The network upgrade is expected to run $3.6B USD.

Source: Sprint





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