Sprint reports smaller quarterly loss than expected and a subscriber increase

T-Mobile isn’t the only carrier adding customers. Surprisingly, Sprint too just laid down positive results, adding 58,000 new subscribers during the fourth quarter. Analysts had expected a loss of about 83,000 subscribers, according to Reuters. In total, the company, which sold an 80 percent stake to Softbank last year, had 53.9 million platform subscribers, its highest total ever.

Sprint Corp (S.N) reported a smaller fourth-quarter loss than estimated and an unexpected increase in wireless subscribers, sending its shares up 7 percent in early trade. The company, which is 80 percent owned by Japan’s SoftBank Corp (9984.T), said it added 58,000 net subscribers in the quarter compared with the average expectation for a loss of 83,500 subscribers from six analysts contacted by Reuters. Estimates ranged from a loss of 48,000 to a loss of 400,000. “We would characterize these results as better than feared,” said Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche. However, the growth was still minuscule in comparison to rivals Verizon Wireless (VZ.N)(VOD.L), AT&T Inc (T.N) and T-Mobile US (TMUS.N). Sprint has been losing customers due to a shutdown of one network and a massive overhaul of its remaining network which is degrading the quality of its phone calls.

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