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Sprint posts massive $1.6 billion Q2 loss

Zach Epstein
July 30th, 2013 at 7:55 AM
Sprint Earnings Q2 2013

With SoftBank undoubtedly eager to get this first Sprint report since its acquisition out of the way, Sprint on Tuesday night posted its results for the second quarter. Sprint’s Q2 2013 wireless service revenue climbed 8% to a record-high $7.2 billion and operating revenue totaled $8.87 billion, but that certainly wasn’t enough to distract attention from the $1.6 billion net loss it posted as the Nextel network was finally shuttered, a decline from the $1.4 billion net loss it reported in the same quarter last year. Sprint says it recaptured about 4 million Nextel subscribers as the service was discontinued. The carrier’s press release follows below.

Sprint Reports Second Quarter 2013 Results

  • Sprint platform wireless service revenue increased 8 percent year-over-year to highest-ever of $7.2 billion. Best-ever Sprint platform postpaid ARPU of $64.20 and 11th consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth
  • Operating Loss of $874 million, includes accelerated depreciation of approximately $430 million and noncash charges of $623 million related to the successful Nextel platform shutdown; Adjusted OIBDA* of $1.4 billion in spite of highest estimated Network Vision net dilution of any quarter
  • Nextel network shut down as scheduled on June 30; more than 4 million Nextel subscribers recaptured to the Sprint platform since Network Vision commenced in early 2011, 44 percent postpaid recapture rate
  • Strong progress on Network Vision deployment with more than 20,000 sites currently on air — up 50 percent from last quarter
  • All three transactions now closed
    • SoftBank transaction brought an attractive cash premium to Sprint Nextel stockholders, $5 billion of cash contributions and improved operating scale
    • Clearwire transaction expected to fully utilize and integrate complementary 2.5GHz spectrum assets
    • U.S. Cellular transaction adds spectrum that should significantly increase Sprint’s network capacity and improve the customer experience in two key markets

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sprint Corporation (NYSE: S) today reported Sprint Nextel’s second quarter 2013 results including record quarterly Sprint platform wireless service revenue of $7.2 billion and continued growth in Sprint platform postpaid subscribers. For the quarter, operating loss was $874 million and Adjusted OIBDA* was $1.4 billion as Sprint continued to make significant investments in the business.

“Sprint pioneered unlimited voice, text and data in 2008, and we recently introduced the first lifetime guarantee, solidifying our commitment to the simplicity and peace of mind that unlimited brings.”

“This is a historic time for Sprint. We recently shut down the Nextel platform and completed the Clearwire, SoftBank and U.S. Cellular transactions. In the second quarter, we achieved record levels in Sprint platform postpaid subscribers, service revenue and postpaid ARPU, and increased our 4G LTE footprint,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “Sprint pioneered unlimited voice, text and data in 2008, and we recently introduced the first lifetime guarantee, solidifying our commitment to the simplicity and peace of mind that unlimited brings.”

Sprint Platform Again Achieves Record Revenue, ARPU and Subscribers

Sprint platform service revenue, postpaid ARPU and postpaid subscribers all reached best-ever levels in the second quarter. The Sprint platform had postpaid net additions for the 13th consecutive quarter and a postpaid Nextel recapture rate of 34 percent. Sprint platform postpaid ARPU grew year-over-year for the 11th consecutive quarter.

As expected, the Sprint platform lost prepaid customers as a result of planned deactivations related to regulatory changes impacting the lower-ARPU Assurance brand. This was partially offset by strong Assurance gross additions and continued growth in both Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile subscribers. Virgin Mobile gross additions improved 70 percent year-over-year.

Adjusted OIBDA* Relatively Flat Year-Over-Year Despite Higher Network Vision Dilution

Adjusted OIBDA* of $1.4 billion decreased by 2 percent year-over-year primarily due to lower Nextel platform revenue, higher Network Vision dilution and slightly higher SG&A expenses offset by growth in Sprint platform service revenue.

EPS and Operating Loss Include Accelerated Depreciation, Nextel Shutdown Costs

Operating loss of $874 million, net loss of $1.6 billion and diluted net loss of $.53 per share for the quarter included, pre-tax, accelerated depreciation of approximately $430 million and noncash charges of $623 million related to the Nextel platform shutdown. For the second quarter of 2012, operating loss was $629 million, net loss was $1.4 billion and diluted net loss was $.46 per share including, pre-tax, accelerated depreciation of $782 million and noncash charges of $184 million related to the thinning of the Nextel platform. Net loss and diluted net loss in the year-ago period also included a pre-tax impairment of $204 million related to Sprint’s investment in Clearwire.

Network Vision Momentum Continues with Nextel Platform Shutdown, More Than 20,000 Sites On Air

Sprint made strong progress on the Network Vision deployment in the quarter including the shutdown of the Nextel platform on June 30, which enables significant future improvement to Sprint’s cost structure. Over 4 million Nextel subscribers were recaptured to the Sprint platform since Network Vision commenced in early 2011.

To date more than 20,000 Network Vision sites are on air compared to more than 13,500 reported with first quarter results. The number of sites that are either ready for construction, already underway or completed has grown to more than 30,000.

As part of Network Vision, Sprint has launched 4G LTE in 151 cities, including Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami and Boston. Sprint expects to provide 200 million people with LTE by the end of 2013.

Iconic Smartphones Paired With Unlimited Data Remain Key Differentiator

Eighty-six percent of quarterly Sprint platform postpaid handset sales were smartphones, including approximately 1.4 million iPhones® sold during the quarter. Forty-one percent of iPhone sales were to new customers.

In addition, Sprint launched other popular smartphones including Samsung Galaxy S® 4 and HTC One® during the quarter and earlier this month introduced HTC®8XT, Sprint’s first Windows 8 smartphone. Also this month, Sprint launched the first three tri-band 4G LTE data devices, which are expected to bring customers improved network performance and stronger in-building coverage by providing access to Sprint’s 4G LTE network at 800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz where available.

In July, Sprint strengthened its unique pairing of an unbeatable device portfolio with simplicity and value by launching The Sprint Unlimited GuaranteeSM that offers customers unlimited talk, text and data while on the Sprint network, for the life of the line of service. The guarantee is for new and existing customers who sign up for Sprint’s new Unlimited, My WaySM plan or My All-inSM plans featuring unlimited talk, text and data while on the Sprint network for as little as $80 per month for the first line, with greater savings for additional lines. The guarantee will apply to customers as long as they remain on the plan, meet the terms and conditions of the plan and pay their bill in full and on time.

Third Parties Recognize Sprint’s Leadership

According to results from the 2013 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released in May, Sprint is the most improved U.S. company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries studied, during the last five years. The ACSI survey also ranked Sprint No. 1 in delivering the best value among national wireless carriers. Among the study’s customer experience benchmarks, Sprint also ranked highest in bill rating and data plan choice.

Sprint VelocitySM, an end-to-end mobile integration solution developed specifically for auto manufacturers, received two prestigious awards from Pipeline magazine’s 2013 COMET Innovations Awards program. Sprint was the service provider winner for Innovation in Connectivity and was runner-up in the Innovative Collaborations category. In addition, Sprint Velocity won the Telematics Update Industry Newcomer Award.

The Environmental Investment Organisation named Sprint the highest ranking of all companies in the U.S. and No. 13 globally in its 2013 Environmental Tracking Carbon Rankings. Sprint was named a leader for North America and the continent’s highest ranked telecommunications company.


On a stand-alone basis, Sprint would be increasing its 2013 Adjusted OIBDA* forecast to between $5.5 billion and $5.7 billion. The company’s previous forecast was for Adjusted OIBDA* to be at the high end of between $5.2 billion and $5.5 billion and did not include the dilutive effects of the SoftBank and Clearwire transactions, which are estimated to be approximately $400 million, subject to finalization of fair values. Including the impacts of these transactions, the company now expects 2013 Adjusted OIBDA* to be between $5.1 billion and $5.3 billion.

The company expects 2013 capital expenditures of approximately $8 billion.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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