“Sprint Nextel Corp. said Friday it would eliminate 4,000 jobs and close 8% of company-owned retail stores amid the loss of more key customers to rivals,” Jeffry Bartash reports for MarketWatch.
“The company has been hurt by a reliance on credit-risky subscribers, mediocre customer service and a less attractive roster of handsets compared to competitors such as AT&T Inc., the exclusive provider of the iPhone,” Bartash reports.
“In the fourth quarter, Sprint lost 109,000 subscribers overall and 683,000 postpaid customers — even larger than Wall Street analysts expected. Postpaid customers sign up for annual plans and pay at the end of each month. They are considered the most valuable in the industry,” Bartash reports.
“The steep loss in postpaid subscribers unsettled investors. Sprint (S: 8.59, -2.99, -25.8%) shares sank more than 18% to $9.40 in recent trades,” Bartash reports. “Sprint’s losses in that category total more than 1.71 million over the past six quarters. Most of those postpaid customers have flocked to rivals such as AT&T… Pressured by subscriber defections, Sprint said it would cut 4,000 jobs from its workforce of 60,000, just one year after the company eliminated 5,000 positions. Sprint also said it would close 125 of its 1,400 company-owned retail stores.”
“Sprint ended 2007 with 53.8 million wireless customers, barely higher than the 53.1 million it served at the end of 2006. AT&T and Verizon, by contract, added millions of new customers,” Bartash reports. “Market leader AT&T, for instance, gained a net 4.7 million mobile customers through the first three quarters of 2007 to 65.7 million… What’s worse, the number of postpaid subscribers served by Sprint fell by 1 million in 2007 to 40.8 million.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Drew_Ill” for the heads up.]
Our hearts go out to those Sprint employees who are affected. May you quickly find work at a company that does (or works with one that does) exciting, innovative, and original things, for a change. It’s unfortunate that those shortsighted few who misled you to this day will someday soon ride comfortably to earth on their giant golden parachutes.