While AT&T and Microsoft had positive earnings reports last month, Sprint joins Verizon in having "not-so-great" news with their latest earnings report. While Sprint has had eight consecutive quarters of improvement in customer care satisfaction and first call resolution, the company continues to record losses in customers and net operating revenue.
Customer losses for the 4th Quarter included 69,000 retail customers, 148,000 net wireless customers and 540,000 post-paid customers. This is up from the losses last quarter where Sprint reported losses of 135,000 retail customers, 545,000 net wireless customers and 801,000 post paid customers. Sprint did see it's first gain in CDMA subscribers in six quarters, gaining 3,000 post-paid customers.
While Sprint's subscriber losses seem to be stabilizing, their revenue losses seem to be increasing. Sprint reported a consolidated net operating revenue of $7.9 billion, a net loss of $980 million (up from a $478 million loss last quarter). Sprint does report a free cash flow of $666 million, the highest in company history.
Sprint notes in the report that they are continuing to build on their 4G network. The 4G service is currently available in 27 markets, serving 30 million
customers people. Sprint hopes to expand that to additional markets building the coverage to 120 million people by the end of 2010. With the Virgin Mobile merger complete, a handful of new phones heading to market and an increase in 4G coverage, Sprint may be able to turn things around in 2010.