This morning, the third largest national US carrier announced their third quarter earnings. And it doesn't look too good for them. They did report a postpaid service revenue of $5.8 billion for those 3 months, along with a postpaid ARPU of $64.28. Sprint did also post an operating loss of $398 million for the third quarter. Net income was around $383 million, along with over 360,000 customers leaving the carrier while adding about 84,000 prepaid subscribers and 181,0000 wholesale customers.
Sprint has posted that 92% of their postpaid handset sales were for smartphones. Which is a new record for the company. The carrier is also continuing their 4G LTE rollout, which they launched in 45 new cities just yesterday. They are on track to hit 200 million POPs by the end of the year. Which puts them behind T-Mobile, and having the fourth largest 4G LTE network at this time. Sprint is expecting to report earnings before interest and taxes (EBITDA) of $5.1 billion to $5.3 billion for 2013. For Q3 the EBITDA was $1.34 billion.
The carrier was recently acquired by Japanese operator Softbank, well 78% of them were. So financial results do include a period prior to the deal closing, which was July 1-10th. The results for each period were combined in the report:
"During the third quarter Sprint platform postpaid service revenue and ARPU once again hit record levels and we continue to make great strides in our 4G LTE rollout. We expect our network investments will bring customers greater speeds and capacity and, when combined with our unique unlimited for life offers, will improve our competitive positioning."-Dan Hesse, CEO, Sprint
Sprint doesn't appear to be hurting too bad yet, but it's not looking good for them. Losting over 360 thousand customers and posting a huge operating loss isn't something you want from your carrier. Although it's interesting to see that the ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) was only $64.28. Compared to Verizon's ARPU which I believe is over $100, or close to it. However, Sprint's plans are cheaper, and there's no family share plan, it's still surprising to see it that low. Hopefully Softbank can help Sprint pull it back together soon.