Sprint Narrows Loss, Avoids T-Mobile Questions

Sprint reported a $48 million net loss for its fiscal second quarter Wednesday as the operator -- like T-Mobile -- declined to hold an earnings call in order to avoid answering any questions about a long-anticipated merger between the mobile service providers.

Revenue for the quarter was $7.93 billion, down from $8.25 billion 12 months ago. The operator's net loss narrowed to $48 million, or $0.01 per share, compared with a loss of $142 million, or $0.04 per share, a year ago.

The operator reported wireless net additions for the quarter ended September of 378,000. This included 279,000 signing on for monthly contracts, and 95,000 getting into pay-as-you-go agreements.

Earlier this week, T-Mobile US Inc. set the precedent for dodging its quarterly monthly earnings call because it didn't want to answer questions from financial analysts about the long-rumored merger. The deal is expected to be announced later this month or early in November. (See T-Mobile Ducks Q3 Call to Dodge Sprint M&A Questions.)

The companies have plenty of regulatory reasons for not wanting to discuss a potential deal. But there's also the fact that some questions are going to be uncomfortable. Many consumers don't think the merger would boost competition -- at least, that's what the results of a Light Reading poll tell us. (See A T-Mobile/Sprint Merger: Would It Spur Competition?)

There's also that whole jobs thing.

"This potential merger will result in the loss of at least 20,000 U.S. jobs and will harm consumers by reducing competition," the Communications Workers of America union said in a release Tuesday. All of the major US mobile operators, however, are anticipating a regulatory light touch from the Trump administration. (See AT&T Q3: Taxes, FirstNet & '5G Evolution'.)

Sprint shares are up 0.71% at $7.05 in pre-market trading in the US.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

KBode 10/26/2017 | 2:10:45 PM
Jobs Given Moffet estimates that the deal could kill more jobs (30,000) that Sprint even has right now, I wouldn't want to talk to the press about the deal either. Certainly wouldn't want to be forced to discuss how the deal will dramatically reduce competition and raise rates in the wireless sector, either. 
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