We've already seen the likes of AT&T and Verizon announce their third quarter 2011 earnings reports, and now Sprint is next in line with its own Q3 figures. Sprint finished the quarter with net operating revenues of $8.3 billion and operating income of $208 million, and overall the company saw a net loss of $301 million, which is an improvement from its Q2 2011 net loss of $847 million. On the subscriber side of things, Sprint added nearly 1.3 million new customers. Of that 1.3 million, 304,000 were postpaid and 445,000 were prepaid. Postpaid losses for Q3 were 44,000, better than the 101,000 lost in Q2. Sprint finished the quarter with over 53 million customers: 32.9 million postpaid, 14.3 million prepaid, and around 6.3 million wholesale and affiliate. Finally, postpaid churn settled at 1.93 percent for Q3, slightly worse than the 1.75 percent reported in Q2.
Also of note is the fact that Sprint recently revealed plans to roll out LTE-Advanced in 2013. Speaking at the 4G World conference in Chicago, Iyad Tazari, Sprint's vice president of network development and engineering, said that the LTE-Advanced network will be deployed on his carrier's 800MHz spectrum and that it's expected to yield speeds of 12-15Mbps. LTE-Advanced is a newer, generally speedier version of LTE, the latter of which Sprint is still planning to begin rolling out by mid-2012. Tarazi also said that Sprint plans to launch Voice over LTE devices in the first quarter of 2013. What about WiMAX, you ask? Tarazi said that at the end of 2011, around 20 percent of its traffic will be running on the WiMAX network. Sprint says that it will continue to support its WiMAX users for several years thanks to its existing agreement with Clearwire.
Overall it looks like Sprint had a decent third quarter, at least compared to previous quarters, helped out by the fact that its 1.3 million subscriber adds is the best that the carrier's had in over five years. It'll be interesting to see what happens for Sprint in Q4, because that'll be the first quarter that'll factor availability of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S on the Now Network. Anyone care to take a guess what effect the two smartphones will have on Sprint's numbers? Oh, and if you feel like diving deep into Sprint's Q3 earnings, you can find the full report right here.
Sprint Nextel Reports Third Quarter 2011 Results
Year-over-year and sequential Adjusted OIBDA* growth driven by ARPU strength and continued wireless subscriber growth
Postpaid ARPU growth of $1 sequentially; $3 year-over-year improvement best in almost 12 years
Nearly 1.3 million total net new wireless subscriber additions – best in more than five years
Eight consecutive quarters of net postpaid subscriber growth for the Sprint brand and also for year-over-year improvement in postpaid churn
The company’s third quarter 2011 earnings conference call will be held at 8 a.m. EDT today. Participants may dial 800-938-1120 in the U.S. or Canada (706-634-7849 internationally) and provide the following ID: 15483737 or may listen via the Internet at www.sprint.com/investor.
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), October 26, 2011 - Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) today reported that during the third quarter of 2011, the company generated net operating revenues of $8.3 billion and Adjusted OIBDA* of $1.4 billion. Adjusted OIBDA* grew sequentially and year-over-year driven primarily by strength in postpaid ARPU and continued growth in the prepaid wireless customer base. Postpaid wireless ARPU increased $3 from the year-ago period and the prepaid subscriber base has grown 23 percent since the third quarter of 2010.
The company achieved its best total company wireless net subscriber additions in more than five years. The company added nearly 1.3 million total net wireless subscribers, primarily driven by 304,000 net postpaid additions for the Sprint brand, net prepaid additions of 485,000 and net wholesale and affiliate additions of 835,000.
Growth in Sprint brand net additions was achieved without the benefit of Apple’s iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, which launched Oct. 14. The launch of this iconic device resulted in Sprint’s best ever day of sales in retail, web and telesales for a device family in Sprint history. The response to this device by current and new customers has surpassed initial expectations. The iPhone is expected to be accretive for Sprint, and iPhone users are expected to be among Sprint’s most profitable customers.
Additionally, the company reported operating income of $208 million, a net loss of $301 million and a diluted loss of $.10 per share for the quarter, which includes $261 million in equity losses of unconsolidated investments and other. This compares to an operating loss of $213 million, a net loss of $911 million and a diluted loss of $.30 per share, which included $284 million in equity losses of unconsolidated investments and other in the third quarter of 2010.
“Sprint’s focus on creating the best customer experience with simple, unlimited plans and innovative products and services continues to strengthen our brand and drive positive results,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “We are adding to our customer base, our ARPU is increasing, and as a result our wireless revenues are growing.”
As of Sept. 30, 2011, the company’s total liquidity was approximately $5 billion, consisting of $4 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments and $1 billion of undrawn borrowing capacity available under its revolving bank credit facility. The company’s next scheduled debt maturities of $2.3 billion are due in March 2012.
During the third quarter, third parties continued to validate Sprint’s progress. Sprint was ranked highest by J.D. Power and Associates among full-service providers in a tie in its 2011 Wireless Purchase Experience Study, Volume 2. The study also found Sprint led the industry in its website buying experience. Boost Mobile was ranked by J.D. Power and Associates as highest in the Wireless Purchase Experience Study, Volume 2 as well as highest in 2011 Wireless Customer Care Performance, Volume 2 with Non-Contract Service. Additionally, Sprint earned the No. 3 spot among the largest U.S. companies on Newsweek’s 2011 Green Rankings. This is the second straight year that Sprint has ranked in the top 10, up from No. 6 last year.
Sprint also added to its innovative portfolio of products and services. It launched three additional 4G phones – Samsung Conquer™ 4G, Motorola PHOTON™ 4G and the first Samsung Galaxy S™ II product available in the U.S., Samsung Galaxy S™ II, Epic™ 4G Touch. This week Sprint launched its 25th 4G device – HTC EVO Design 4G™. Sprint also added the BlackBerry® Torch™ 9850, the first all-touch BlackBerry® smartphone from Sprint, BlackBerry® Bold™ 9930, the thinnest BlackBerry® smartphone ever and the BlackBerry® Curve™ 9350. Boost Mobile grew its smartphone lineup of Android™ devices with the launch of the Samsung Transform™ Ultra, and Virgin Mobile USA launched the Android-powered Motorola TRIUMPH™ and announced the coming availability of the LG® Optimus™ Slider.