Wed, May 6, 7:44 PM
- Sprint (NYSE:S) fell 3% today following a quarter where it reported turnaround still in progress, and just as its No. 1 challenge became clear over the past several month -- upgrade its network to keep up with giants AT&T and Verizon, and hold off T-Mobile -- its cash burn is back in focus, as asset investments aren't cheap.
- Citigroup's Michael Rollins says that Sprint will burn free cash flow of around $6.1B in 2015. And analyst Craig Moffett notes the company last quarter burned through $914M of its $3.5B cash-and-marketable-securities total; "At this rate, Sprint will run out of money around the 2016 (radio spectrum) incentive auction."
- For those looking for a white knight, majority owner SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) has more than $90B of its own debt to worry about. And Barclays pointed out that while cash burn is improving, visibility for Sprint's turnaround "remains elusive."
- In Sprint's earnings call, CFO Joseph Euteneuer was placid: "We're very comfortable with the liquidity here in the short-term, and as I said it will ultimately ... we'll look at two things. One, the continued growth of the business, and two, the final outcome of what we're going to do on a capital standpoint."
Thu, Apr. 30, 11:55 AM
- Sprint (S -2.6%) has reached a deal to give its customers access to Boingo Wireless' Wi-Fi networks in 35 U.S. airports, including in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Charlotte and others.
- Phones will automatically connect and Wi-Fi calling will be available when connected, Sprint says.
- The telecom is also offering customers a free consumer router that prioritizes Sprint's Wi-Fi calls over other network traffic, as well as working on an outdoor small cell that incorporates Wi-Fi
Mon, Mar. 30, 3:15 PM
- Sprint (NYSE:S) is up 2.5% as it announces an investment in Chicago: $45M in network infrastructure by 2016's end, targeted toward making the city Sprint's first LTE Advanced network, and 300 new jobs by the end of 2015.
- Chicago has acted as a rollout laboratory for Sprint in the past. The company says its customers' wireless usage there has increased more than 640% since 2012.
- The move will mean more than 46 new retail locations in Chicago this year; in the metro area, more than 115 stores, and more than 540 jobs overall.
- Previously: Sprint tumbles; more color on possible network expansion (Mar. 10 2015)
- Previously: Sprint rumored to work on 9,000-site LTE expansion (Feb. 25 2015)
Tue, Mar. 17, 12:16 PM
- Sprint (S -1.8%) is launching its "Workplace-as-a-Service" connectivity solution, a product suite it says has "all the technology needed to run a business, offered on a predictable per-user, per-month basis."
- The comprehensive offering (including managed Wi-Fi, WAN connectivity and voice along with device management) is one of a few recent carrier moves toward Unified Communications.
- The service will start at $200 per user per month, and Sprint says it offers up to 50% savings based on its IT spending research.
- The move gets a one-day head-start on T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), widely expected to use its event tomorrow to promote new business solutions.
- Previously: T-Mobile event may focus on business market (Mar. 09 2015)
Tue, Mar. 10, 2:39 PM
- On a down market day, Sprint's (NYSE:S) gone bearish, outpacing peers on the way down, -5.8%.
- A note put out by New Street Analysts expects Sprint to announce a huge network plan with its next quarterly report, including new coverage sites, new sites to add urban density, new small cells and upgrading legacy sites to CDMA -- as well as rescuing some old iDEN sites from decommissioning.
- The expectation is of a piece with reports that Sprint will get aggressive with 9,000 new LTE sites, and that the firm may add up to 20,000 new cell sites, though over an indeterminate period.
Thu, Mar. 5, 1:37 PM
- Sprint (NYSE:S) is moving again, up 4.2% on steady volume, on little news aside from the small trickle of Form 4s -- the latest showing that CFO Joseph Euteneuer bought 20K shares at $5.10.
- CEO Marcelo Claure gave a boost to the stock last Friday in buying 5M shares.
- Also this week: Prompted by T-Mobile, the National Advertising Division asked Sprint to drop superlative network claims in its advertising, especially "brand new," "all-new" and "America's newest." The NAD said Sprint should clarify ads claiming faster speeds and better call quality are in comparison to Sprint's old network rather than competitors.
- Earlier, Sprint had signed a deal with BlackBerry to offer BES 12 Services, which should allow Sprint to make more inroads into an enterprise customer base against AT&T and Verizon.
Fri, Feb. 27, 3:04 PM
- Another day, another big move in Sprint (S +7.1%) -- up higher today, on the revelation that CEO Marcelo Claure bought 5M shares on the open market.
- At an average price of $4.92, the transaction cost about $25M.
- The stock has seen some volatile days in the wake of its earnings report a few weeks ago.
- Shares have lost 41% over the past 12 months, but are up 23.1% YTD.
Wed, Feb. 25, 12:53 PM
- Sprint (NYSE:S) just keeps moving today (up 6.7%) alongside rumors that its network expansion may be more aggressive than announced.
- Aside from Sprint's recent 48-market Spark/LTE rollout, niche Sprint-network tracker S4GRU claims there are plans for 9,000 new LTE sites -- a key organic move, after Sprint had previously expanded via different tech from Nextel and Clearwire.
- The plan is supposedly highly targeted per market and will involve "significant capital spend" -- which would raise the question: If Masa Son (OTCPK:SFTBY) is keeping a close eye on the purse, where's the money coming from?
- "Project Ocean" and "Project Cedar" expansions in central U.S. and Montana are already funded, but the other 8,000 sites will need some detailing for any funds beyond initiation.
Wed, Feb. 25, 11:40 AM
- Sprint (NYSE:S) is bouncing on heavy volume today, up 5% to 4.86, countering a slow decline the stock has been on since reaching 5.25 on Feb. 17.
- Shares had lost 4.3% over the past two days as BTIG Research came in with negative outlook on Sprint's cash flow and revenue growth.
- The company has joined AT&T and T-Mobile in teasing the arrival of Samsung's Galaxy S6, using the same phone image but with its signature brand yellow glow. The phone's expected to be unveiled in the coming days.
- Related: Sprint's Dangerous Assumptions (Feb. 24 2015)
Mon, Feb. 23, 5:56 PM
- Walter Piecyk at BTIG Research has downgraded Sprint (S -3.3%) shares to Sell, from Neutral, with some blunt language: “We do not see a path by which Sprint can return to revenue growth, let alone EBITDA growth or positive free cash flow.”
- And he adds that "we are tired of waiting" for Softbank's (OTCPK:SFTBY) backing to spur a turnaround: He "simply can't ignore the high cash burn rate and recent comments by Sprint’s Chairman Masa Son and latest CEO Marcelo Claure that outlined a clouded network vision and market strategy that we do not believe offers a clear revenue growth opportunity."
- Next year's EBITDA might be only $5.25B vs. estimates of $7.167B.
- There's a Catch-22: Piecyk sees the stock's value in its spectrum assets, but if Sprint sells those off, what's left isn't a competitive company.
- The carrier recently launched a notes offering to get working capital in the face of its cash burn.
- Updated 6:05 p.m.: Sprint shares are -1.9% after hours.
- Previously: Oppenheimer: Sprint will be forced to make sales (Feb. 18 2015)
Thu, Feb. 19, 9:02 PM
- T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) gained 2.7% today (and another 0.5% in late trading) following its strong Q4 report this morning.
- In the company's call today, CEO John Legere stretched like Armstrong to make a technical point that TMUS is actually the third-biggest U.S. carrier: He says most carriers stop counting "dead" MVNO accounts after 60-90 days, while Sprint (NYSE:S) waits six months. So Legere says Sprint is overcounting by 1.7M customers and is actually behind T-Mobile.
- CFO Braxton Carter tells the Financial Times that the company's guidance (on the low side of expectations) is "conservative" and expectations are high: "We are still taking major flow from the duopoly (T, VZ) ... We are very pleased with our first-quarter momentum."
- T-Mobile should take a Q1 hit in front-loading customer acquisition, but it expects free cash flow to turn positive at some point this year.
- Aside from record customer growth (fueled in part by aggressive promotion), the company pointed to highly watched synergies with its MetroPCS brand -- projecting to reach full run-rate synergies of at least $1.5B by 2016. Net present value there is expected to be $9B-10B, up from original $6B-7B projection.
- That's finally "kicking in," says Craig Moffett: "Synergies from the PCS deal, a key driver of our bull case, are coming in sooner and higher than expected" and that the firm "has at last turned the profitability corner."
- Related: T-Mobile US (TMUS) Q4 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript (Feb. 19 2015)
Wed, Feb. 18, 3:40 PM
- With its network now no longer the worst, Sprint (NYSE:S) is ready to start tomorrow's rollout of LTE and Spark networks in 48 new markets, including Hawaii, Colorado, and Washington D.C.
- The move means that Sprint will cover more than 270M people with LTE (125M with 2.5-GHz spectrum, part of the three-band "Spark" spectrum).
- The high-speed data is important to Sprint's story of continuing improvement, not to mention the pressure for voice over LTE (years in the future, but still out there in the distance for all carriers).
- Sprint shares are currently down 4.3%.
- Previously: Vetr downgrades Sprint again, to Sell (Feb. 17 2015)
- Previously: Sprint rebounding in week of change: earnings, FCC, RadioShack (Feb. 12 2015)
Thu, Feb. 12, 10:58 AM
- Sprint's (NYSE:S) 2.6% gain today adds to a three-day rise of 6.5% -- and +20% over a newsy past week that started with fiscal Q3 earnings showing the return of customer growth.
- The company is going against the industry grain by showing support for Title II reclassification by the FCC -- new regulations that are opposed by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.
- "Our competitors are going to continue to invest [in networks] so they are representing a situation that won't play out," says Sprint CTO Stephen Bye.
- Network investment is a key issue for Sprint -- it has a lot of work ahead to unify its LTE bands, and it still lags AT&T/Verizon in network quality (though it's moving up).
- Meanwhile, dealing with RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) on some 1,750 co-branded stores gives a shot in the arm to Sprint distribution, which was strained by long lines during their recent "Cut Your Bill In Half" and "IPhone For Life" promotions.
- Shares are now up 36% off their 52-week low from mid-December.
Thu, Feb. 5, 7:35 AM
Wed, Feb. 4, 1:11 PM
- Despite their CFO just last month saying certain customers would "leave us for price and we're just not going to compete with that," Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is cutting $10/month off the cost of most of its data plans.
- Customers have some flexibility but will have to opt in to the new prices.
- Verizon also said it would offer a one-time $100 credit to those coming in to switch from another carrier.
- Taken together, the moves are the clearest sign that VZ may feel heat from ETF-refund moves by other carriers, including Sprint's (S +2.6%) "cut your bill in half" promo.
Sat, Jan. 31, 1:47 PM
- After learning which way AT&T (NYSE:T) went (high) and which way Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) went (low) in the 11-week FCC wireless spectrum auction, most attention focused on Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH): What are they up to?
- The satellite firm took just short of half of the available licenses (and saved over $3B by cannily working through small-business partners) but doesn't offer mobile service -- yet.
- Dish's fortunes in this auction were linked to those of Verizon, which is widely considered a potential buyer or lessee of Dish's spectrum assets. But Dish's Charlie Ergen has pursued wireless firms before (MetroPCS and Sprint (NYSE:S)) and may see wireless mobile as the next path forward from a slower-growing business.
- “I think [Ergen's] strategy is built around a confidence that spectrum will only become more valuable going forward,” says former FCC commissioner Robert McDowell.
- DISH closed the day out down 4.3%, slightly below where it was sitting before the auction results were released.
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