Technology

Sprint mum on merger plans as it gains customers but slips back into a financial loss

Overland Park-based Sprint is widely expected to seek a merger with rival T-Mobile US in a bid to compete against wireless industry leaders Verizon and AT&T.
Overland Park-based Sprint is widely expected to seek a merger with rival T-Mobile US in a bid to compete against wireless industry leaders Verizon and AT&T. along@kcstar.com

Sprint added 378,000 wireless customers in the previous three months but slipped back into a financial loss.

The Overland Park-based company reported its results without comment about increasing reports that it is close to announcing a merger with rival T-Mobile US.

Sprint executives did not schedule the traditional conference call with analysts to discuss the recent results.

The 378,000 new wireless network connections gave Sprint 54.027 million at the end of September, or fourth largest in the nation.

Gains came from adding 279,000 high-revenue postpaid phone subscribers, though Sprint lost some lower-revenue postpaid tablet connections.

Prepaid subscribers increased by 95,000 and wholesale connections increased by 115,000.

Financially, Sprint said it lost $48 million in July, August and September, or 1 cent a share, after earning a $206 million profit in the previous three months. A year ago, Sprint had lost $142 million in the quarter.

Revenues in the recent quarter were $7.9 billion, down from $8.2 billion a year earlier.

On Monday, T-Mobile similarly announced its latest earnings and customer counts without holding a traditional conference call with analysts or commenting to reporters.

The two companies reportedly had planned to announce merger plans along with their quarterly updates. But negotiations continued, leaving each to schedule earnings announcements hurriedly.

T-Mobile’s announcement said the company had added 1.329 million subscribers, bringing its total connections to 70.731 million, or third most in the industry.

On Tuesday, AT&T said it had added 2.3 million connections to its network to reach 138.8 million at the end of September. Earlier, Verizon reported 738,000 additional retail customers to reach 115.274 million retail connections to its network.

Mark Davis: 816-234-4372, @mdkcstar

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