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.
November 1, 2007; 7:13 AM ET
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