Sprint (S) hasn’t turned a profit in over five years but the company has outperformed almost every other stock this year in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, including Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG). Shares of the nation’s third largest carrier are up more than 140% this year and the company predicts it once again see profit growth in 2014. “I tell the team here, ‘You’re not going to see any mission accomplished signs anywhere on this campus,’ ” chief executive officer Dan Hesse said in interview with Bloomberg. “This is a long process.”
Although it was a risk, Hesse pushed the carrier to offer Apple’s iPhone on its network. Not only has the $15.5 billion gamble retained customers, but it has also attracted new ones from other carriers. In order to stay competitive with Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T), Sprint now also offers 4G LTE in select markets and plans to add 100 more cities and towns in the coming months.
Even if Sprint turns the corner in 2014, however, the company will still have lost nearly $50 billion over the past seven years.