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Sprint posted a smaller loss in its third quarter than a year ago as it cut costs and added more valuable wireless phone customers

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OVERLAND PARK, Kansas — Sprint, which as cut thousands of jobs in recent months, posted a smaller loss in its third quarter as aggressive promotions lured more users.

The company also boosted its outlook for the year and its shares jumped 18 percent Tuesday.

Sprint said it added 501,000 new customers for its contract-based wireless plans, the most lucrative plans for the company, up from 30,000 in the same quarter a year ago. The country's No. 4 wireless service provider said its current promotion, offering 50 percent off AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon plans, is attracting new customers. The company added a total of 491,000 customers in the quarter, though that is down from 967,000 last year, as it lost more prepaid customers.

The Overland Park, Kansas, company said that it's on track to cut $800 million in costs for the 2015 fiscal year, which ends in March. On Monday, the company said it had cut about 2,500 jobs since thE fall, or about 8 percent of its workforce.

Sprint said it now expects earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization for the fiscal year 2015 to be between $7.7 billion and $8 billion, up from its previous forecast between $6.8 billion and $7.1 billion.

For the third-quarter ending Dec. 31, Sprint reported a loss of $836 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a loss of $2.38 billion, or 60 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 27 cents per share.

Revenue fell 9.7 percent to $8.11 billion in the period, which did not meet Street forecasts. Eight analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $8.25 billion.

Shares of Sprint Corp. rose 46 cents to $2.97 in midday trading.

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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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