Sprint Corp.’s recent success in adding high value phone customers and reducing defections by existing customers continued in the fourth quarter, its chief executive said.
In a newsletter to employees, CEO Marcelo Claure cited the 237,000 high-value customer gains the company reported in the third quarter, and its record low customer churn levels during the last two quarters. He previously called those earlier results an “inflection point” in Sprint’s turnaround.
“We’ll report our fourth quarter results soon, but I expect you’ll see we were able to keep this momentum going,” Claure said in the newsletter.
Claure offered no data about the quarter’s results, which are closely guarded under federal securities regulations. But his characterization paints a positive expectation for the report expected in a few weeks.
T-Mobile US Inc. recently said it had added 917,000 of those high-value phone customers among 2.1 million new connections to its network during the fourth quarter. T-Mobile executives also had said they believed Sprint had “put up decent subscriber growth numbers” in the fourth quarter, according to one account.
T-Mobile had surpassed Sprint last spring in total subscribers to become No. 3 in the industry.
Claure’s newsletter comment added to remarks from Sprint’s chief financial officer at an industry conference Thursday. Tarek Robbiati had said Sprint’s half-off rate plan offer was doing well, well enough that the company extended it beyond the original expiration date.
In another recent newsletter to employees, Claure struck down speculation about its wireline business and its Direct 2 You personal phone delivery and set-up service. Analysts and outsiders have speculated about Sprint’s potential interest in selling its wireline business, which reports results separately from its wireless business, and about the costs of Direct 2 You compared with its benefits.
Both wireline and Direct 2 You were examined after employees raised questions during focus groups, Claure said in the newsletter. Decisions also were made about Sprint’s international and enterprises businesses, he said.
“Through transformation, we may refine our focus or approach with these segments, but we are committed to keeping them as part of Sprint,” Claure wrote. “We have concluded that they can help us grow and achieve our long-term financial goals.