Sprint Reports 2Q Loss, Wireless Subscriber Jump

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Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) reported Wednesday a second-quarter loss despite its first wireless subscriber hike in three years, driven mostly by increased demand for its 4G smartphones.

The Kansas City-based company said its net loss hit $760 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with a loss of $384 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, and falling short of the Street’s view of 20 cents.

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Revenue dropped 1% from a year ago, to $8.03 billion, down from $8.1 billion last year, and matching average expectations. The wireless provider said its revenue was down primarily because of lower postpaid wireless service revenues.

Wireless subscribers grew for the first time last quarter in three years, jumping by 111,000, mostly attributed to improved demand for smartphones, like its 3G/4G HTC EVO, which hit shelves in June.

The company also reported its best ever postpaid churn and announced the re-launch of Virgin Mobile, intended to serve its more data-centric customers, and a launch of 4G service in eight new markets, upping its markets to 43,or roughly 51 million people.

The company said it expects positive additions to its total net wireless subscribers for the remainder of the year.

Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse said an “intense focus” over the past 10 quarters of improving customer experience, generation cash and strengthening brands has paid off.

“We feel we can confidently improve our subscriber forecasts for the second half of 2010 and deliver positive total net wireless subscriber additions for the remainder of the year,” he said.

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