Sprint pushes quarterly new subscriber numbers to 3-year high, yet marketing blitz stings

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OVERLAND PARK, Kansas — Sprint added more than a million new subscribers in the fourth quarter but at a cost as aggressive pricing and promotions widened its losses.

Sprint initiated a "cut your bill in half" campaign, directly targeting bigger rivals like Verizon and AT&T by offering to drastically slash the bills of customers who switched over.

On a net basis, Sprint added 1.2 million new subscribers in the quarter — its highest number in almost three years. The company had 57.1 million total subscribers at quarter's end.

But the Overland Park, Kansas, company lost $224 million, or 6 cents per share, for the period ended March 31. A year earlier it lost $151 million, or 4 cents per share.

The per-share loss was 3 cents greater than analysts had projected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue at the wireless carrier — in which Japan's Softbank holds a majority stake — declined to $8.28 billion from $8.88 billion and was also short of Wall Street expectations.

For the year, the company reported that its loss widened to $3.35 billion, or 85 cents per share, from $2 billion, or 54 cents per share, in the previous year. Revenue was reported as $34.53 billion.

The stock shed 3 cents to $5.12 in premarket trading Tuesday.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on S at http://www.zacks.com/ap/S

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Keywords: Sprint, Earnings Report

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