Sprint Loses Subscribers put posts Numbers Better than Estimates

The third largest wireless carrier in the United States, Sprint Nextel Corp reported a narrower first quarter loss than was expected. This came even though Sprint lost over 560,000 contract subscribers.

The loss was $0.21 cents per share for the quarter for the Overland Park, Kansas based wireless giant. Wall Street predicted the wireless company loss would be over $0.34 cents a share. Sprint announced its sales had gone up by less than a full percentage point. Sales for the quarter were $8.79 billion, while analysts on Wall Street had predicted $8.74 billion.

Over the last year, Sprint’s price per share has tripled, as the company found two other businesses in a bidding war to acquire them. Japan’s Softbank Corp, which is based in Tokyo, agreed to pay for 70% ownership of Sprint a sum of $20 billion. However, in early April Dish Network made an offer of $25.5 billion. The two proposals are aimed at making Sprint into a business that will be able to challenge the giants in the industry, AT&T and Verizon.

The operating profit for the company in 2013 was re-forecasted by Sprint to the higher end of the forecast range it originally forecast at the end of last year. At that time, the range was between a low of $5.2 billion and a high of $5.5 billion prior to any amortization and depreciation.

Sprint is making improvements on its wireless network, while offering more selections in smartphone brands and models. Sprint’s average phone bill for the first three months of 2013 was $62.47, an increase of $1 from the last three months of 2012.

Sprint’s loss was narrowed during the first quarter of 2013 to $643 million from the first quarter of 2012, which was $863 million.