Profits Decline Sharply At Sprint

Profts fell sharply at Sprint Nextel Corp. in the third quarter as the Reston company reported a decline in the number of wireless customers.

The company reported net income of $64 million (2 cents per share) down 77 percent percent from $279 (9 cents) for the same period in 2006. So far this year, Sprint has recorded a loss of $128 million (4 cents) compared to a profit of $1.1 billion (36 cents) in 2006. Wireless revenues were down about 4 percent for the quarter.

The company said it lost 60,000 wireless customers in the three-month period ending Sept. 30, and it said it continued to record millions of dollars in expenses in merger-related costs such as paying severance to dismissed employees. Overall, the company has about 54 million wireless subscribers.

Since Sprint merged with Nextel in 2005, the third-largest wireless carrier has had difficulty blending the companies' brands and technologies, leading to significant loss of customers and financial disappointments.

Paul Saleh, the company's chief financial officer, recently took over as interim CEO when chief executive Gary D. Forsee stepped down under pressure from the board of directors.

"Our third quarter results reflect mixed performance as we address competitive market conditions and manage through credit market impacts on a portion of our customer base," Saleh said in a press release. "Going forward, our clear mandate is to improve the customer experience at every touchpoint and simplify our business. We also plan to focus more resources on customer retention."

Sprint is one of several wireless companies talking to Google about equipping cellphones with new software designed by the Internet giant, according to astory in today's Business section.

By Dan Beyers  |  November 1, 2007; 7:13 AM ET  | Category:  Sprint
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I feel like a DEVALUED customer. During the process of the massive conversion of the Sprint and Nextel billing system, my service was terminated for non-payment. I paid my phone bill on Tuesday 11-06. Sprint has not restored service as of today 11/08/07.
Because of this conversion, I'm unable to access my account online and when I called a service representative told me they were unable to access my account because it was in conversion status. The rep further explained that I would not have service for five days! WHAT HAPPENED TO TECHNOLOGY??? You mean to tell me it takes 5 days to do a conversion. That's what happens when company try to get to big and try to corner the market. POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. After being a dedicated customer for over 8 years, I am switching to another carrier. By the way my past due balance was $78.00. The conversion didn't stop them from accepting my payment. I hope Sprint continues to lose many more customers.

Posted by: YLR | November 8, 2007 10:18 AM

Sprint has the worst customer service. All of their people have been fully baptized in "stonewall" the customer. I repeatedly have an echo on my Sprint phone when I call land lines in Texas. Today I was told to go across town to the service center. What a joke! Miquel told me he would do a software update for $15.00, but could not guarantee it would solve the problem. Then I might have to get a new phone which would cost me $50.00. Miguel used his new Sprint phone with the up to the minute software. There was an echo on his phone. There is nothing I can do for you here. Yet it's called a service center? In calling Paul in cutomer service I was told that this was not a Sprint problem. It was a problem with the switches in these Texas cities, and since I was able to make an receive phone calls on my Sprint phone, I really had no recourse.

If only Sprint could just go "belly up." Then we'd all be released from their misery and lack of customer service/satisfaction.

Posted by: Ruth Bassett | November 12, 2007 4:05 PM

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