Updated from 8:04 a.m. EST
fell short of Wall Street's estimates for the third quarter Friday as the company's struggling wireless division remained under pressure.
The Overland Park, Kan., wireless phone shop swung to a third-quarter loss of $326 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with a profit of $64 million, or 2 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding items, Sprint's earnings came in at break even, falling short of Wall Street's average estimate for a profit of 3 cents a share.
Sprint said net operating revenue declined 12% from a year ago to $8.82 billion. On average, analysts forecasted revenue of $8.85 billion, according to
After trading 6% higher in the premarket session Sprint shares were lately down 7.1% to $3.42. The stock has now dropped 72% for 2008.
Sprint's struggling wireless division saw revenue decline 13% from the same period a year ago to $7.53 billion, as the unit continued to see subscriber losses. Sprint said its total count of wireless customers shrank to 50.5 million from 54 million in the year-ago quarter and 51.9 million in the second quarter of 2008.
Total wireless customers fell by a net 1.3 million, including losses of 1.1 million post-paid customers and 329,000 prepaid users, which was slightly offset by a 130,000 increase in the number of wholesale and affiliate subscribers, the company said.
The churn rate, or the rate at which customers left the service, of traditional post-paid subscribers shrank to 2.15% from 2.3% in the same quarter a year ago, although that figure rose from 2% in the previous quarter and is still well above that of rivals
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