Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

Sprint Surges After It Returns to Profit in First Quarter

Sprint posts first quarterly profit in three years CORPORATE REPORT: Charter, Sprint and HSBC
Juana Turner | 01 August, 2017, 22:54

The carrier drew praise from analysts for posting its first quarterly profit in three years - $206 million compared with a loss of $302 million a year ago - but revenue fell 4.5% to $8.2 billion and it added fewer customers than rivals.

The fourth-largest carrier in the U.S., controlled by Japan's SoftBank, reported a net income of $206 million, or 5 cents per share, for the first quarter of this fiscal year.

Most of the rumors around a Sprint merger so far have centered around Charter or T-Mobile US Inc.

Subscribers: Sprint enjoyed its eighth consecutive quarter of postpaid phone net additions, and its total net additions of 61,000 included postpaid net losses of 39,000, prepaid net additions of 35,000, and wholesale and affiliate net adds of 65,000.

"Sprint reached an important milestone this quarter by returning to profitability for the first time in three years", CEO Marcelo Claure said in a press release.

Potential M&A: Claure was understandably coy about which company-or companies-Sprint might be most likely to partner with, saying multiple times that the carrier has "plenty of options". Sprint's CEO also has talked this year about combining with T-Mobile, the No. 3 mobile carrier.

That puzzled Claure, who said repeatedly that Sprint hadn't been offered to Charter.

"We understand why a deal is attractive for SoftBank, but Charter has no interest in acquiring Sprint", said Charter spokesman Alex Dudley in the statement. After rallying more than 130% in 2016 in anticipation of a corporate turnaround, as of Monday afternoon Sprint stock was down just a bit year-to-date largely because evidence of that turnaround remained obscured. Whether Sprint can negotiate a good deal in extended discussions remains to be seen.

The offer being considered by Sprint's chairman and SoftBank founder, Masayoshi Son, would be to form a new publicly traded entity that would use SoftBank money to buyout shareholders of both Sprint and Charter at a premium, the people said.

For the quarter ending in June, the nation's fourth-biggest wireless service provider turned $8.16 billion worth of revenue into a per-share profit of 5 cents. Sprint is expected to continue pursuing merger opportunities in the coming months as the company continues its efforts to address its rising debt and highly leveraged operations. Revenue for the quarter was $8.16 billion, up from $8.01 billion previous year.


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