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Sprint Corporation (S)

  • Thu, Oct. 1, 6:46 PM
    • Sprint (S +5.5%) is going to cut an ambitious $2B to $2.5B in costs -- including jobs -- over the next six months, The Wall Street Journal reports from a memo written by Sprint's new CFO.
    • It's implementing an external hiring freeze and the cost cuts "inevitably will result in job reductions," writes Tarek Robbiati, who took over the CFO post in early August.
    • “The main thing to consider when requesting to spend money is to take an owner’s mindset by treating every dollar as if it were your own," he continues in the memo. The finance department will be approving all expenditures.
    • The communication didn't put a number to job cuts, but the company employed about 31K people at the end of March.
    • After hours, Sprint stock is up another 0.3% to add on to today's gains.
    | Thu, Oct. 1, 6:46 PM | 42 Comments
  • Wed, Sep. 30, 5:15 PM
    • Sprint (S +2.7%) is going to kick up the cost of its unlimited data plan, formerly $60/month, to $70/month, showing that unlimited data plans may be testing sustainability at the wireless carriers.
    • That's still the best U.S. postpaid deal for that plan, and current customers will be grandfathered in at the $60/month rate. The price changes for new customers Oct. 16.
    • T-Mobile (TMUS +0.6%) sells an unlimited data plan for $80/month, and AT&T (T +1.5%) and Verizon (VZ -0.1%) don't offer one.
    • Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has alluded to the strain of unlimited data, as well as wishes to bump customers toward the tiered data plans.
    • Earlier, Sprint pursued limiting video download speeds, but has removed such restrictions as customers pushed back.
    | Wed, Sep. 30, 5:15 PM | 36 Comments
  • Tue, Sep. 29, 4:18 PM
    • After slipping 7.4% yesterday, and trading flat for much of today, Sprint (NYSE:S) took  the last hour to fall another 6%.
    • At $3.74, it's at its lowest point in seven weeks (since Aug. 10). The moves are coming in the wake of two key catalysts: an extreme discount on getting new iPhones into customers' hands, and its decision to skip the broadcast incentive spectrum auction at a time of clogged airwaves.
    • This is the "valley of darkness" for Sprint, analyst Roger Entner says, where it will live "for another year before improvements will be widely recognized by consumers.”
    • The company will save some $9B by skipping the spectrum auction -- important, as cash burn speeds up -- though Sprint is already sitting on a heavy supply of unused spectrum. Now the key is putting it to work.
    • Ultimately, Entner thinks some turnaround will happen: “There’s no way SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) is going to let them go belly up." Wells Fargo's Jennifer Fritzsche thinks the onus is on getting those unused airwaves into service: “Sprint is still a show-me story, especially on the network side."
    • Previously: Sprint confirms it'll skip spring broadcast airwaves auction (Sep. 28 2015)
    • Previously: On eve of iPhone launch, Sprint offers $1/month plan (Sep. 24 2015)
    • Previously: Evercore: Sprint, T-Mobile could merge network assets into a REIT (Sep. 22 2015)
    | Tue, Sep. 29, 4:18 PM | 35 Comments
  • Mon, Sep. 28, 7:55 PM
    • Sprint (S -7.3%) confirmed that (as expected) it won't take part in the FCC's broadcast incentive auction for wireless spectrum next March -- a move that should suit T-Mobile's (NYSE:TMUS) John Legere just fine, as he's vocally argued for low-band access.
    • "Sprint has the spectrum it needs to deploy its network architecture of the future," said CEO Marcelo Claure in his statement. The company's already densifying the network and pursuing techniques like carrier aggregation to unlock potential in its 2.5 GHz position.
    • The auction, for prized low-band airwaves that will help with indoor penetration and rural areas, won't be cheap -- so skipping it should make a major difference to cash burn, a vital issue for Sprint.
    • After an August run to $5.19, fueled by SoftBank's share purchases, shares are back under $4, at $3.98 (down 21.5% since Aug. 28).
    • Previously: Sprint's Claure: Turnaround is taking hold with customer, network growth (Sep. 17 2015)
    • Previously: Wells Fargo: T-Mobile, Sprint get edge with new iPhone financing approach (Sep. 10 2015)
    | Mon, Sep. 28, 7:55 PM | 26 Comments
  • Thu, Sep. 24, 3:04 PM
    • Upping the iPhone ante with a day to go before the newest model's launch, Sprint (S +0.5%) has responded to a T-Mobile $5/month promotion by announcing a $1/month device plan.
    • Friday's launch "is the day a lot of consumers choose who's going to be their carrier," says Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. "We wanted to make sure we have the best iPhone offer."
    • The carrier, seeing "heatlhy" pre-order action, is offering a 16 GB iPhone 6s for $1/month with a trade-in of an iPhone 6 (last year's model). The rate goes to $5/month when getting an iPhone 6s Plus.
    • T-Mobile (TMUS -1.6%) yesterday had offered $5/month and $10/month leases for the two models when trading in last year's iPhone or certain other late-model phones.
    • Promotions for the new phone have seen a lot of action this month since Apple announced it was offering its own financing for unlocked iPhones.
    • Previously: T-Mobile seeing heavy iPhone demand, pushing $5/month lease (Sep. 23 2015)
    • Previously: Wells Fargo: T-Mobile, Sprint get edge with new iPhone financing approach (Sep. 10 2015)
    | Thu, Sep. 24, 3:04 PM | 27 Comments
  • Tue, Sep. 22, 12:46 PM
    • Traffic checks of U.S. wireless carriers by Pacific Crest's Michael Bowen show slowness for the leaders and some momentum for challengers.
    • Verizon (VZ -1%) was "slow" and AT&T (T -0.9%) "somewhat weak" in the past month heading into a key iPhone announcement. Verizon saw a lower amount of pre-orders for the iPhone and was coming off a data plan re-sizing; AT&T is lower-key about pushing phone upgrades, though tablet promotions are going well and customers are responding to DirecTV bundles.
    • Meanwhile, promotions are bearing fruit at T-Mobile (TMUS -1.9%) and Sprint (S -1%). T-Mobile traffic was "strong," Bowen says, with employees optimistic about iPhone pre-orders and new financing plans. Meanwhile, most Sprint stores met or beat August goals and expect the same for September, as the "iPhone forever" leasing plan is showing strong demand.
    | Tue, Sep. 22, 12:46 PM | 31 Comments
  • Fri, Sep. 18, 4:56 PM
    | Fri, Sep. 18, 4:56 PM | 4 Comments
  • Wed, Sep. 16, 12:06 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) is down 5.2%, with its bondholders kneecapped by a Moody's credit-rating cut that has slashed more than $1.5B from the bonds.
    • The rating cut -- to B3 from B1, six notches below investment grade -- came due to "brutal competition" in U.S. wireless, and skepticism about Sprint's ability to refinance a $12B debt pile coming due over the next five years.
    • "The negative outlook reflects our belief that Sprint is going to need significant additional funding," Moody's wrote. "It remains uncertain whether or not the capital markets will be receptive to additional funding."
    • The company's 7.875% notes due 2023 have fallen to 90.75 cents on the dollar, from 98.6 cents at the week's start.
    | Wed, Sep. 16, 12:06 PM | 26 Comments
  • Tue, Sep. 1, 2:05 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) says it's investing $150M in Chicago by the end of 2016, nearly doubling its headcount there with more than 750 new jobs and up to $250M of network spend across Chicagoland over the next two years.
    • Chicago will be the first Sprint city to see deployment of LTE-Advanced.
    • The new jobs -- building on the existing "Sprint for Chicago" initiative to improve customer service, which promised 300 new jobs in March -- include retail positions, wireless experts for the company's house-call "Direct 2 You" service, and network techs and engineers.
    • Meanwhile, boosted by continuing SoftBank support, Sprint shares are bucking today's sharply lower market, up 0.5% while the S&P 500 is down 2.5%.
    | Tue, Sep. 1, 2:05 PM | 14 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 31, 5:04 PM
    | Mon, Aug. 31, 5:04 PM | 8 Comments
  • Thu, Aug. 27, 3:11 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) is giving up some of today's gains, now +3.3%, after news of its latest promotion: "Celebrating" the merger of AT&T (NYSE:T) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) by offering a year of free phone service to DTV customers who switch.
    • The deal will be offered starting tomorrow through September's end. DirecTV customers who switch to Sprint -- or some existing customers adding lines or phones -- will get 12 months unlimited talk/text and 2 GB of data per line, up to five lines.
    • The existing customers would need to add a new line through Sprint Lease, iPhone Forever, Sprint Easy Pay or pay full retail price for a new smartphone.
    • Customers would be migrated to the comparable paid plan after the year was up.
    • Updated: "This ranks right up there with a desperate Hail Mary pass to a petite defensive lineman," said an AT&T spokesperson (in a Super Bowl allusion?). "With Sprint's network and the many asterisks on this deal, we're feeling good about our offers."
    | Thu, Aug. 27, 3:11 PM | 76 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 18, 8:14 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) started the day strong and ended even stronger, +5.8%, in the wake of another share purchase by parent SoftBank.
    • Sprint's also making a high-profile move away from contracts and phone sales, and analyst Craig Moffett -- known for being a skeptic on Sprint's cash burn performance -- said today the carrier's switch to a leasing model is "an accounting change, and unfortunately it is exaggerating revenue and EBITDA."
    • He's got Sprint rated at Sell, with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile rated at Neutral.
    • "From the consumer's perspective, this is all much ado about nothing," Moffett said of the lease model. "You used to pay about $20 more per month in your service plan in return for getting the phone; now you pay about $20/month for the phone itself."
    • From the carrier's perspective, there's a huge difference in accounting, though, and "unfortunately, it has distorted the accounting for the whole sector. Because as you do the sale of phones, it accelerates revenue, and therefore accelerates EBITDA and earnings ... all the companies are now reporting inflated revenues ... and inflated profitability."
    • Sprint's gone one step further, he says, by leasing the phones and "taking the cost of the phones off the income statement entirely, move it to the balance sheet and that further inflates earnings. So Sprint is getting 50% of its EBITDA right now from accounting changes."
    • Meanwhile, CEO Marcelo Claure and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) CEO John Legere are mixing it up on Twitter again, this time arguing about a RootMetrics survey that put Sprint in third place in overall performance, ahead of T-Mobile.
    • Previously: Sprint's Claure to T-Mobile's Legere: Tired of 'Uncarrier bullshit' (Jul. 02 2015)
    | Tue, Aug. 18, 8:14 PM | 12 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 18, 9:54 AM
    | Tue, Aug. 18, 9:54 AM | 11 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 17, 4:53 PM
    • Another brick falls from the contract-wireless wall, as Sprint (S +10.1%) CEO Marcelo Claure tells The Wall Street Journal that the carrier will do away with contracts and shift to a leased-smartphone model by year's end.
    • Sprint introduced a lease option last year, and ending its subsidies means that leasing or upfront purchase will be the only ways to get a smartphone from the carrier.
    • The move leaves AT&T (T +0.5%) as the only carrier of the U.S. big four that is still offering to subsidize a smartphone buy. Verizon (VZ +0.1%) made its major move earlier this month, and all are following in T-Mobile's (TMUS +1.9%) footsteps on dropping contracts.
    • Earlier, Sprint rolled out its "iPhone Forever" plan that served as a precursor to the model: For $22/month over and above the usual monthly fees, customers can upgrade to the latest iPhone as soon as it becomes available, rather than once every two years. Claure says parent SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY -1%) will help it monetize traded-in phones.
    | Mon, Aug. 17, 4:53 PM | 20 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 17, 9:41 AM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) is up 3.4% in early going -- making it up 27.9% over the past five days, to its highest point in over a month.
    • As has often been the case lately, the stock is moving on a new promotion, "iPhone Forever" -- allowing new and existing customers to upgrade their iPhones to the most up-to-date model anytime, for $22/month.
    • The company is doing a limited promotion through the end of the year reducing the monthly rate to $15 (until the next upgrade) for upgrade-eligible customers who bring in a smartphone and get a 16GB iPhone 6.
    • The stock's trading at $4.32; it last closed that high on July 6.
    | Mon, Aug. 17, 9:41 AM | 16 Comments
  • Wed, Aug. 12, 11:25 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) finished after-hours trading up 8% on news that SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) put another $87M into the struggling carrier, lifting its stake to about 80% from 79.4%.
    • The news that SoftBank bought 22.9M shares (at an average price of $3.80) came from the parent company in a statement in Tokyo on Thursday. Latest quote after hours was $4.20/share -- almost 25% above last Friday's close of $3.37.
    • SoftBank says it may make more buys while limiting its holdings to less than 85% (a threshold that would make Sprint a candidate for delisting).
    • Updated 11:37 p.m.: SoftBank is down 3% in Tokyo, while the Nikkei is up 0.4%.
    • SoftBank statement
    • Previously: Son facing down increasing doubts about Sprint's future (Aug. 12 2015)
    | Wed, Aug. 12, 11:25 PM | 26 Comments
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Company Description
Sprint Corp is a communications company offering wireless and wireline communications products and services to individual consumers, businesses, government subscribers and resellers.