The third largest wireless carrier in the US, Sprint Nextel Corp, yesterday said it lost $1.3 billion in its fourth quarter, around the same as a year ago, as it sought to take on bigger competitors and make a comeback after revamping its networks.
The focus of the company as also that of its investors would be on efforts for a turnaround rather than on short-term results according to analysts. Sprint is selling 70 per cent of itself to Japanese carrier Softbank Corp for $20 billion with the deal set to close this summer. The deal is expected to provide a much-needed capital infusion to the ailing company (See: Japan's Softbank to buy 70 % stake in Sprint Nextel for $20.1 bn).
With the backing of Softbank, Sprint has entered into a deal with shareholders of Clearwire Corp, a wireless data network operator, which is expected to give Sprint more space on the airwaves and allow it to offer high broadband speeds (see: Clearwire agrees to Sprint Nextel's sweetened $2.2 bn offer).
Loss at the Overland Park, Kansas-based company was 44 cents per share in the October to December period as against 43 cents per share in the previous year, which was slightly less that the amount projected by analysts.
Sprint grossed a $9 billion revenue up 3.2 per cent from $8.7 billion a year with customers converting from regular phones to higher-paying smartphones.
The company added 401,000 Sprint customers in the quarter, including 333,000 that moved from Nextel, leaving analysts concerned over its heavy dependence on Nextel customers.