Sprint Corporation
 (S)

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  • Jul. 6, 2015, 2:46 PM
    • Network spending at Sprint (S -3.4%) is "slowing down materially," but is expected to ramp up again later this year and beyond as a major new phase of network "densification" begins, Jefferies writes in a new note.
    • Sprint's "Next Generation Network" got approval from parent SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) in June, but vendor selection and other details are still ongoing. Analysts see the project leaning heavily on small cells as Sprint seeks a dramatic improvement in speed and performance.
    • With the company's overlay work on 800 MHz and 2.5 GHz slowing, "we expect that Sprint's business trends might look slower for the vendors of late," Jefferies says.
    • The firm says carriers' network spending overall is a bit slower and it wouldn't be surprised if Q/Q improvement in spending trends tracked below seasonal norms.
    • Previously: Report: Sprint CTO resigns in middle of network buildout (Jun. 23 2015)
    • Previously: Sprint CEO: We'll have best or second-best network in two years (May. 27 2015)
    • Previously: Sprint: Amid network investment, cash burn back in focus (May. 06 2015)
    | Jul. 6, 2015, 2:46 PM | 30 Comments
  • Jul. 2, 2015, 10:49 AM
    • Sprint (S -0.4%) CEO Marcelo Claure may have hit his limit with notoriously profane commentary from T-Mobile (TMUS +0.7%) CEO John Legere, as Claure posted from his Twitter account that he is "so tired of your Uncarrier bullshit."
    • Claure unleashed a mini-storm of tweets after Legere criticized Sprint's "All-In" simplified pricing model by pointing to a critical Re/code piece.
    • "I am so tired of your Uncarrier bullshit when you are worse than the other two carriers together," Claure said over a few tweets. "Your cheap misleading lease imitation is a joke. You trick people to believe that they have a 15 dollar iphone lease payment when it's not true."
    • "You tell them they can upgrade up to 3x but you don't tell them the price goes up to 27 dollars when they do. You say one thing but behave completely different. It's all a fake show. So its really #Tmobilelikehell."
    | Jul. 2, 2015, 10:49 AM | 51 Comments
  • Jul. 1, 2015, 3:06 AM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) is ending a policy of slowing video speeds for unlimited data customers, a practice known as throttling, after an outcry over the practice undermined the carrier's attempt to promote a new phone plan and raised concerns due to new net neutrality rules.
    • "We heard you loud and clear,” announced Chief Executive Marcelo Claure.
    • Meanwhile, a U.S. judge signed off on a $50M settlement between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Sprint over claims the mobile carrier added unauthorized charges to customer phone bills.
    | Jul. 1, 2015, 3:06 AM | 13 Comments
  • Jun. 30, 2015, 11:23 AM
    • Cable and wireless firms are on the (legal) clock, as a D.C. appeals court is setting an expedited schedule for them to provide briefs on the set of challenges to FCC net neutrality rules.
    • Firms will need to provide their opening briefs (20,000 words or fewer) by July 30, meaning final briefs will be due Oct. 13, and oral argument could begin by year's end.
    • The disputes now are largely around Title II reclassification (Internet access as a utility) and interconnection, rather than bans on blocking/throttling or paid prioritization.
    • Represented/related companies: VZ, TMUS, S, CMCSA, CHTR, TWC, CVC, CTL, FTR, CCOI, DISH, DTV
    | Jun. 30, 2015, 11:23 AM | 18 Comments
  • Jun. 30, 2015, 9:48 AM
    • U.S. wireless firms are all trading higher out of the open as RBC Capital raises price targets on AT&T (T +0.2%), T-Mobile (TMUS +1.3%) and Sprint (S +1.1%).
    • Verizon (VZ +0.2%) is also up comparably with AT&T.
    • The firm's best rating of the three goes to T-Mobile, with an Outperform. RBC raised its price target to $41; it's currently trading at $39.17.
    • AT&T gets a Sector Perform rating and a raised price target of $37 (currently trading at $35.83), and Sprint gets a Sector Perform and a higher target of $6 (currently at $4.56).
    | Jun. 30, 2015, 9:48 AM | 5 Comments
  • Jun. 29, 2015, 1:04 PM
    • Sprint (S -1.2%) is taking its eager-to-please home delivery/customer service offering to more cities as it bids for customers in a tough market.
    • Its "Direct 2 You" program, powered by a multi-thousand car fleet, expands today to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver, and will be coming to Detroit, Washington, D.C., Tampa and Dallas early next month.
    • The service was launched for Sprint customers initially, but is now available for customers who want to switch.
    • The company also announced a new family plan offering two lines of unlimited talk/text/data for $100/month, and $40/month additional for up to eight lines.
    • Previously: Sprint up premarket; testing home delivery of new phones (Apr. 13 2015)
    | Jun. 29, 2015, 1:04 PM | 10 Comments
  • Jun. 26, 2015, 5:46 PM
    • Sprint (S -1.3%) chief Marcelo Claure has become the highest-paid CEO among U.S. telecoms, the Financial Times notes, having earned $22M for just under eight months of work.
    • Randall Stephenson of AT&T (NYSE:T) earned $24M last year -- but for a full year's work. Lowell McAdam of Verizon (NYSE:VZ) earned $18M last year, and T-Mobile's (NYSE:TMUS) John Legere $19M.
    • For the period between his Aug. 11 start date and March 31, Claure earned a base of $923K, a bonus of $2.4M (including a $500K "golden hello"), and $18M in stock and options. During that time, Sprint's stock price has fallen 16.4%.
    • A Sprint spokesman pointed to the difficulty of making apples-to-apples comparisons with other CEOs, considering one-time payments like the signing bonus.
    • Sprint's 14A filing
    | Jun. 26, 2015, 5:46 PM | 42 Comments
  • Jun. 25, 2015, 7:04 PM
    • While FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler signaled today that the agency wouldn't bow to demands for greater spectrum set-asides for competitors to AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), the Justice Dept. sent a letter urging the FCC to think about moves to spread the spectrum, including a greater set-aside.
    • William Baer with the DOJ's antitrust division asked the FCC to consider “the well-established competition principle that those with market power may be willing to pay the most to reinforce a leading position.”
    • In a low-band "broadcast incentive" auction coming next year, the FCC has proposed setting aside 30 MHz per market for competitors other than the two telecom leaders, like Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS). T-Mobile has been vocal about pushing for a 40 MHz reserve and is hopeful that Baer's letter means it still may happen: “There would be no point in writing the letter if they didn’t want the FCC to take another look," says T-Mobile's Andy Levin.
    • More FCC auction coverage
    | Jun. 25, 2015, 7:04 PM | 13 Comments
  • Jun. 25, 2015, 2:35 PM
    • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says that he is circulating a draft with changes to the spectrum bidding procedures ahead of an open meeting designed to "revamp our outdated spectrum auction bidding policies" and help small businesses in the mobile marketplace.
    • Notably, he proposes a first-ever cap on total bidding credits, reducing an incentive for large corporations to game the system: "We will not allow small businesses to serve as a stalking horse for another party." (Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) was loudly criticized by rivals after using designated entities to bid for $13.3B in spectrum with a $10B payment; AT&T (NYSE:T) had proposed a much smaller cap of $10M.)
    • And he's sticking to the previous 30 MHz set-aside for smaller firms, though key "smaller firms" like Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) had pressed for a larger set-aside of as much as 40 MHz (in T-Mobile's case, with an aggressive media campaign).
    • He also recommends dropping a requirement for small businesses to offer facilities-based wireless in order to qualify for bidding credits, and to create a new rural business bidding credit.
    • More FCC auction coverage
    | Jun. 25, 2015, 2:35 PM | 1 Comment
  • Jun. 23, 2015, 1:53 PM
    | Jun. 23, 2015, 1:53 PM | 33 Comments
  • Jun. 22, 2015, 7:04 PM
    • Did Sprint (NYSE:S) CEO Marcelo Claure tip off an end to unlimited data plans? Last week, as AT&T faced a $100M net-neutrality fine for slowing down data for its unlimited-data customers, Sprint said it voluntarily stopped that practice to ensure compliance with new rules.
    • Last year, Sprint had said it had planned to slow down data for "disproportionate" users.
    • Speaking with KSHB-TV in Kansas City, Claure said "For the next few months, unlimited continues ... We might increase prices toward the latter part of the year.”
    • Moving away from unlimited data plans might create a competitive disadvantage but could boost revenue as the company works to improve its network.
    • Previously: FCC to fine AT&T $100M for slowing mobile data users (Jun. 17 2015)
    | Jun. 22, 2015, 7:04 PM | 26 Comments
  • Jun. 19, 2015, 5:16 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) has asked the FCC to let it drop wireline long-distance and related services, pointing to "changing market conditions" -- and a revenue base that keeps shrinking quarter after quarter.
    • Earlier this year Sprint got approval to drop its operating services (Sprint Services) and it plans to discontinue those around Sept. 15.
    • It's small, but another milestone in the slow decline (death?) of wireline service. In its fiscal Q4 earnings last month, the company reported wireline voice revenue of $264M, down from the previous quarter's $289M and the prior year's $352M. By contrast, wireless voice service revenue for Q4 came to $6.51B.
    • "The proposed discontinuance will not result in material harm to the affected customers because they easily can obtain alternative services from other wireline interexchange carriers," Sprint wrote.
    • FCC filing
    | Jun. 19, 2015, 5:16 PM | 8 Comments
  • Jun. 19, 2015, 12:01 PM
    • Sprint (S +0.3%) is taking its "cut your bill in half" strategy to prepaid, with a new promotion at its Boost Mobile unit targeting customers of Cricket (NYSE:T) and MetroPCS (TMUS -0.5%).
    • The plan is targeting halving customers' bills, for an initial 12 months, across a variety of prepaid plans. Comparing with Cricket's $40/2.5 Gb of high-speed data and MetroPCS's $40/2 Gb, Boost is offering 2.5 Gb for $20/month.
    • After 12 months, customers would then migrate to the comparable regular Boost plan (In the case of 2 Gb, for $30/month if signing up for automatic payment).
    | Jun. 19, 2015, 12:01 PM | 20 Comments
  • Jun. 18, 2015, 7:32 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) CEO Marcelo Claure had a message for employees today: The network's improving, so don't let it be an excuse for not selling Sprint accounts.
    • He was celebrating Sprint's network ascendance from worst to (tied for) first in the company's HQ of Kansas City, according to RootMetrics' carrier test survey. That's the change from just six months ago.
    • Claure says he hears the network excuse a lot. "I want to make sure that every single one of us becomes a salesperson, because every single one of us knows someone who is not a Sprint customer," he said.
    • A new employee incentive will net $50 for those who bring new customers, as well as $50 for the customer.
    • Sprint shares gained 1.1% today and are up 7.2% in the past five days.
    | Jun. 18, 2015, 7:32 PM | 35 Comments
  • Jun. 18, 2015, 4:22 PM
    • While AT&T is facing a $100M fine from the FCC for inadequately informing customers about "throttling" -- slowing data transmissions for its unlimited-data customers once they reached a certain level -- Sprint (NYSE:S) voluntarily stopped the practice in accordance with the new net neutrality rules.
    • Sprint had announced last year that it would slow down data for those who “consume a disproportionate share of network resources and cause a negative user experience for the rest" -- about 5% of customers.
    • Thought the company thinks that policy might still pass muster with the new rules, it's removing all doubt by stopping the practice, and it expects that customers won't see a real difference.
    | Jun. 18, 2015, 4:22 PM | 1 Comment
  • Jun. 17, 2015, 10:36 PM
    • Crown Castle (NYSE:CCI) may be the wireless tower operator that benefits most from the growing emphasis on "small cell" deployments, Reinhardt Krause suggests.
    • The Houston-based tower operator spent $1B each on small-cell specialists Sunesys and (four years ago) NextG -- and has a key customer, Verizon (NYSE:VZ), pushing into small cells as its 4G LTE network gets stuffed.
    • Small cells -- roughly suitcase-sized modules that fit well in outdoor public spaces -- are useful for filling in coverage gaps between full-sized towers and solving urban coverage challenges. But Verizon also may see it as a chance to tap unlicensed spectrum if the government establishes Wi-Fi-like networks.
    • The catch is if small cells end up displacing full-size towers, which have nice profit margins. But many see the two approaches as complementary.
    • Along with Verizon, Sprint (NYSE:S) is expected to invest in small-cell deployments in 2016. "Small cells will be a central pillar of (4G) network architecture for Verizon and Sprint in the second half of 2015 and especially 2016 and for T-Mobile and AT&T moving forward," writes Macquarie's Kevin Smithen.
    • Zayo Group (NYSE:ZAYO) -- a lessor of fiber connections -- is also showing interest in taking part in small cell deployments. Meanwhile, Crown Castle's fiber buys mean it can become more Zayo-like. Small cells accounted for 7% of CCI revenue in 2014, more than at competitors American Tower and SBA Communications.
    | Jun. 17, 2015, 10:36 PM | 3 Comments
Company Description
Sprint Corp is a communications company offering wireless and wireline communications products and services to individual consumers, businesses, government subscribers and resellers.