Beleaguered Sprint continues losing money, subscribers

Apple Online Store Beleaguered Sprint, the exclusive carrier of beleaguered Palm’s Pre device, today reported third quarter 2009 financial results that included consolidated net operating revenues of $8.0 billion, a net loss of $478 million and a diluted loss per share of 17 cents.

Sprint lost a total of 135,000 net retail subscribers in the quarter.

Consolidated net operating revenues of $8.0 billion for the quarter were 9% lower than in the third quarter of 2008 and 1% lower than the second quarter of 2009. The company had 48.3 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2009, compared to 48.8 million at the end of the second quarter of 2009.

For the quarter, net retail subscribers declined by a total of 135,000 and net wireless customers declined by approximately 545,000, including net losses of 801,000 post-paid customers – comprising 271,000 CDMA and 530,000 iDEN customers (including a net 64,000 customers who transferred from the iDEN network to the CDMA network). The company gained a net 801,000 prepaid iDEN customers, offset by net losses of 135,000 prepaid CDMA customers. The company also experienced a net loss of 410,000 wholesale and affiliate subscribers.

Post-paid churn in the quarter was 2.17% compared to 2.15% in the year-ago period and 2.05% in the second quarter of 2009. Sprint blamed the sequential increase on “seasonality and heightened competition.”

Wireless service revenues for the quarter of $6.3 billion declined 8% year-over-year and 2% sequentially.

Read more in Sprint’s earnings press release here.


  1. Something must be wrong if you have 50MM customers and 8BB revenue and you cannot turn a profit.

    Business models like this is what is killing the economy. When high volume companies cut their margins so thin they really put themselves in a precarious position.

  2. @DX,

    Yes, they have (almost), 50 million subscribers. That doesn’t mean they’re doing okay. They lost 500,000 subscribers since last quarter, and they didn’t make a single dollar of profit on the ones they didn’t lose. That is definitely NOT okay.

    In business, lack of forward motion is clear evidence of backward motion.

  3. What’s an “iDEN network”? Anybody?

    Sprint provides the 802.16e (WiMax) wireless from their cellphone towers for Clearwire’s new internet service, a less expensive alternative in select cities to cable and telco IPs. If it takes off across the country Sprint could be sitting pretty.

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