Dec. 2, 2014, 11:49 AM
- In a promo that starts on Friday, Sprint (S -1.2%) will offer AT&T (T -1%) and Verizon (VZ -0.7%) subs who switch to Sprint unlimited talk/text plans similar to the ones they're currently on a 50% price cut.
- One catch: Users have to trade in their existing AT&T/Verizon phones, and make an unsubsidized purchase of a Sprint phone (via leasing, installment plans, or a regular retail purchase).
- A Sprint rep "will select the service plan that most closely matches the data allowance" of a user's AT&T/Verizon plan. The carrier will cover up to $350 worth of early termination fees and installment plan balances per line.
- The offer is the latest in a series of aggressive promos and price cuts launched by new Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, who has made a priority out of halting postpaid share losses. In addition to AT&T/Verizon, the promo takes aim at T-Mobile (TMUS -0.4%), which has been grabbing postpaid share (especially on the low-end) with its own aggressive offers.
- T-Mobile and Verizon's wireless service revenue respectively rose 10.6% and 4.8% in Q3, while AT&T and Sprint's fell 0.2% and 5%.
Nov. 30, 2014, 1:19 PM
- "We now model [Sprint] having to raise an additional $3B of capital over the next 3+ years to both continue investing in its network and fighting to attract subs," predicts Evercore's Jonathan Schildkraut, reiterating a Sell on Sprint (NYSE:S). "We believe this financing will come as debt given [Sprint's] low stock price and the likelihood that SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) would not want to dilute its holdings."
- Schildkraut assumes Sprint will have calendar Q4 free cash flow of -$1.3B, leading to full-year cash burn of $2.95B. He adds Sprint's participation in the FCC's huge 2016 incentive auction (widely considered necessary due to Sprint's relatively weak low-band spectrum portfolio) "could result in the need to raise even more capital.'
- As it is, Sprint had $27B in net debt at the end of September (compares with current equity of $20.3B). Aside from price cuts and 4G investments, postpaid subscriber losses (272K were lost in calendar Q3) have been contributing to cash burn.
Nov. 25, 2014, 4:02 PM
- Sprint (S +3.8%) gradually moved higher today on relatively light volume (20.4M shares vs. a 3-month average of 27.3M). Shares were down 55% YTD going into today, as investors digested ongoing postpaid share losses and an abandoned T-Mobile bid.
- Unlike AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Dish, Sprint hasn't taken part in the FCC's AWS-3 (high-band) spectrum auction, which has seen $36B worth of bids as of today (far more than expected) and produced sticker shock among industry analysts. Sprint plans to take part in the FCC's huge 600Mhz. incentive auction, which is set for 2016.
Nov. 18, 2014, 2:42 AM
- In another attempt to turn around the country's struggling, third-place wireless carrier, Sprint’s (NYSE:S) new CEO Marcelo Claure is shuffling the company's top execs.
- In a recent memo, Claure named more than two dozen executives who are to be part of his core leadership team and said that three senior Sprint execs, including chief marketing officer Jeff Hallock, would be departing.
- Last quarter, Sprint lost 336K customers, more than any of the big four U.S. carriers.
- Previously: Sprint cutting another 2K jobs
Nov. 7, 2014, 7:51 AM
- Sprint (NYSE:S) discloses it will take an additional $105M in charges for severance and related costs in Q3, as it implements its plan to eliminate 2,000 more jobs in an attempt to hit $1.5B in annual cost cuts.
- Sprint says the charge is in addition to a previously reported $160M charge related to severance and other items stemming from the job cuts.
- S +1.1% premarket.
Nov. 4, 2014, 12:44 PM
Nov. 4, 2014, 12:38 PM
- William Blair's Jim Breen, reiterating an Underperform on Sprint (S -16.9%) following its disappointing Q3 numbers and EBITDA guidance cut: "Sprint reported a Sprint-platform postpaid churn rate that was its highest in the past six years ... postpaid and prepaid losses reflect intense competition, specifically related to competitors’ early- termination fee reimbursements."
- Breen expects Sprint 'will struggle to win high-end subscribers from Verizon and AT&T as their 4G LTE lead and shared data plans will likely have the effect of decreasing churn even further." He also notes improving Sprint's oft-criticized network quality will require significant capex; Sprint just slashed its 2014 capex budget by ~$1B.
- Canaccord's Greg Miller (Hold) isn't convinced Sprint's relatively positive September metrics spell a turnaround. "Preliminary reports have not consistently translated into sustainable trends that improve shareholder value over the long-term ... We look forward to additional details on yet another strategy to restore the company and make it more competitive and successful."
- Goldman (Neutral) is more encouraged by the September numbers, but also expects the costs of boosting subscriber adds to take a toll on ARPU and EBITDA. It expects postpaid phone net losses to fall to 240K in 2015 from 2.2M in 2014.
- On the CC (transcript), Sprint said it expects 2014 EBITDA to be "neutral to modestly higher" compared with 2014 levels. Jefferies notes this is 20% below consensus.
- Cowen (Outperform) still thinks a turnaround can happen. "We believe mgmt. is making the right decisions and that this should lead to outsized subs/EBITDA growth in coming quarters and consequent improvement in stock price."
- Low-end rival T-Mobile (TMUS -3.7%), which has been performing much better than Sprint in recent quarters, is also lower.
- Yesterday's earnings coverage
Nov. 4, 2014, 9:15 AM
Nov. 4, 2014, 4:35 AM
- Troubles at Sprint (NYSE:S) has forced SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) to slash its operating profit forecast, which it now expects to be ¥900B ($7.9B) in the 12 months through March 2015, 10% down from the ¥1T profit it previously estimated.
- The warning came as SoftBank reported that its second-quarter operating profit fell 23%.
- Yesterday, Sprint slashed its full-year adjusted EBITDA guidance to $5.8B-$5.9B from $6.7B-$6.9B and announced that it was cutting another 2K jobs.
Nov. 3, 2014, 5:38 PM
Nov. 3, 2014, 5:13 PM
- Along with its FQ2 results, Sprint (NYSE:S) announces it's cutting another 2K jobs, and is "targeting $1.5 billion of annualized cost reductions compared to 2014 spending levels." The carrier announced a month ago it's launching a new "workforce reduction plan;" its headcount is around 36K.
- Sprint has also slashed its full-year capex guidance by ~$1B to less than $6B; it announced a cut of similar size three months ago. The company was previously (at SoftBank's urging) spending aggressively in an attempt to narrow Verizon/AT&T's 4G coverage leads.
- Though its FQ2 numbers are generally downbeat, Sprint asserts the price cuts and promos launched since Marcelo Claure took over as CEO are bearing fruit. Postpaid phone gross adds rose Y/Y in September, the first time they did so in 2014 - the iPhone 6 launch likely helped. Sprint also claims its postpaid phone net losses fell by 60% during the month.
- S -6.5% AH. FQ2 results, guidance/details
Nov. 3, 2014, 4:30 PM
- Not counting transactions, Sprint (NYSE:S) lost 272K postpaid subs in FQ2, lowering its total base to 29.5M. The loss is bigger than FQ1's 181K, and points to further share loss to T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T.
- 35K prepaid subs were added, a turnaround from FQ1's 542K decline. The base stands at 14.8M. Wholesale/affiliate net adds totaled 827K, better than FQ1's 530K and growing the base to 9.7M.
- Postpaid phone net losses totaled 500K, more than offsetting 261K (lower-ARPU) tablet net adds. Other device net losses amounted to 33K. Postpaid churn was 2.18%, up from 2.05% in Q2 and 1.99% a year ago. ARPU fell to $60.58 from $62.07 in Q2 and $64.24.
- Wireless service revenue fell 5% Y/Y to $6.76B. Equipment revenue rose 46% to $1.04B. With the help of cost cuts, adjusted EBITDA margin rose 180 bps to 18.6%, driving a 14% increase in wireless adjusted EBITDA to $1.37B.
- Wireline revenue fell 19% Y/Y to $708M. The segment had just $27M in adjusted EBITDA.
- Sprint (S) has slashed its full-year adjusted EBITDA guidance to $5.8B-$5.9B from $6.7B-$6.9B. The carrier cites both postpaid phone customer losses and (amid rising promotional activity) "increased selling costs." Net debt totaled $27B at quarter's end.
- The selloff Sprint has seen since its FQ1 report appears to be limiting Sprint's post-earnings decline.
- FQ2 results, PR
Nov. 3, 2014, 4:06 PM
Nov. 2, 2014, 5:30 PM
Oct. 24, 2014, 1:16 PM
- The FCC's Incentive Auction, which will auction off a giant chunk of low-frequency (600 MHz.) spectrum historically used for TV broadcasts, is now set for early 2016 instead of mid-2015.
- The agency cites legal challenges from broadcasters, as well as the auction's complexity and "the need for all auction participants to have certainty well in advance."
- A recent FCC study (.pdf) meant to appease broadcasters estimated the auction could raise $45B. Sprint (S -0.1%) and T-Mobile (TMUS +0.1%), whose rural and in-building coverage has suffered from a dearth of low-frequency spectrum, are expected to spend aggressively.
- AT&T (T +0.1%) and Verizon (VZ +1%) are also expected to bid heavily, though the FCC plans to limit their purchases on account of their already-massive low-frequency assets. AT&T has said it plans to spend at least $9B.
- Dish (DISH +1.4%), which has a large chunk of high-frequency spectrum it's still trying to find a use for, plans to participate as well.
Oct. 14, 2014, 4:00 PM
- A month after launching a $20/month iPhone 6 leasing plan to go with an iPhone-specific $50/month unlimited voice/text/data plan, Sprint (S +2.4%) has begun offering existing customers who take up an iPhone lease a $15/month "Loyalty Service Credit."
- The promo, available until Jan. 15, lasts as long as customers have an active lease and a qualifying service plan. It cuts the effective lease rates for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to $5/month and $10/month, respectively. After two years, users can trade in their iPhone for a new model, buy it, keep leasing it, or return the device and terminate service.
- New CEO Marcelo Claure has unveiled several new price plans and promos since taking charge, as his company tries to halt many quarters of share losses to Verizon, AT&T, and (more recently) T-Mobile. A data promo was launched a couple weeks ago.
- The iPhone 6 promo might also be aimed at taking a bite out of Sprint's heavy iPhone purchase obligations.
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