Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Sprint Nextel Corp. narrowed its third-quarter loss, beating analysts’ estimates as the third- largest U.S. wireless carrier cut costs and lost fewer subscribers.
The net loss shrank to $301 million, or 10 cents a share, from $911 million, or 30 cents, a year earlier, the company said today in a statement. Analysts predicted a loss of 22 cents, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The results extended Sprint’s number of consecutive quarterly losses to 16. The Overland Park, Kansas-based company began selling Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4 and 4S on Oct. 14 to compete with larger rivals AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.
“Investors will want to hear more about what the iPhone’s impact will be on future cash flow,” said Walter Piecyk, an analyst with BTIG LLC.
Sprint rose less than 1 percent to $2.70 yesterday at the close in New York. The shares have fallen 36 percent this year before today.
Sales in the third quarter rose to $8.33 billion, up 2.2 percent from $8.15 billion a year earlier. Analysts projected $8.38 billion on average. The company lost 44,000 net monthly contract subscribers in the quarter, more than the loss of 4,300 estimated by seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg on average. A year earlier, it lost 107,000 such users.
Sprint Chairman James Hance said Oct. 12 the company would disclose the costs of selling the iPhone this month after not providing any financial forecast at an investor meeting in New York. The iPhone has upfront expenses because Sprint subsidizes the cost to consumers in exchange for service revenue.
(Sprint plans to have a conference call at 8 a.m. New York time. Go to www.sprint.com/investors to listen.)
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