July 30 - Sprint lost more money and customers than expected ahead of its acquisition by Softbank. Fred Katayama reports.
Sprint's loss widened as more customers fled its mobile network. The third largest U.S. carrier lost much more money in the second quarter than expected: $1.6 billion due to the costs of shutting down its Nextel push-to-talk network that it had acquired. And it shed more than 1 million customers at a time when Verizon added 941,000 and AT&T gained 550,000. Sprint has been trying to stem customer defections from its Nextel brand and have them shift over to Sprint. There were some bright spots. Customers spent more money on Sprint's wireless data services, helping boost revenue. And the company raised its earnings outlook for the year. Deutsche Bank analyst Brett Feldman said, Sprint's second quarter results and updated 2013 guidance reflect stronger than expected trends in the carrier's core 'Sprint' brand services." The stock got a boost on the report. For Sprint, the second quarter was historic. It closed the chapter on its disastrous merger with Nextel. And it was its last quarter as an independent company before its takeover by Softbank.