Sprint's third quarter numbers are in, and as I expected, they're much improved thanks to strong sales of the HTC EVO 4G and (oddly enough) the BlackBerry Curve 8530. The nation's third largest wireless carrier added 111,000 net postpaid subscribers to it's CDMA network and posted churn of 1.85 percent - the lowest in company history. The Sprint brand (encompassing Nextel and their prepaid entities) gained a total of 285,000 customers. Sprint launched 4G (WiMAX) in eight new markets during the quarter, with plans to cover 120 million people by the end of 2010. WiMAX rollouts are expected in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC by the end of the year.
While the carrier did post a net loss of $760 million ($0.25 per share), Sprint CEO Dan Hesse spoke positively about the customer growth: "Our intense focus for the past ten quarters on improving the customer experience, strengthening our brands, and generating cash are paying off," said Dan Hesse, Sprint Nextel CEO. With strong cash flow, stable OIBDA and widespread third-party recognition for the improvements we're making in the customer experience, which in turn strengthens our brands, we feel we can confidently improve our subscriber forecasts for the second half of 2010 and deliver positive total net wireless subscriber additions for the remainder of the year."
Those are strong expectations for a carrier that experienced positive customer growth for the first time in three years, but I imagine continued sales of the EVO 4G combined with the launch of the Epic 4G (Galaxy S) will bode well for them. Still, will they be able to keep the growth up for the remainder of the year?