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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. ( TheStreet) -- Sprint Nextel ( S) suffered a widening loss in its second-quarter results, highlighting the challenges facing the firm.

The wireless provider posted a second-quarter loss of $384 million, or 13 cents a share, compared to a loss of $344 million, or 12 cents a share, in the prior year's quarter. These earnings figures are diluted, however, and Sprint did not post adjusted numbers for the second quarter.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the firm to post a loss of 2 cents a share on an adjusted basis.

Sprint, which competes with AT&T ( T) and Verizon ( VZ), reported second-quarter revenue of $8.1 billion, down 10% on the same period last year, but in line with Wall Street's forecast of $8.12 billion.

Investors were underwhelmed by Sprint's results, and the company's shares fell 12% to $4.04 in recent trading.

As in previous quarters, wireless proved to be problematic for the telecom giant. Sprint lost 257,000 wireless customers during the quarter, although Dan Hesse, the Sprint CEO, said that the company is heading in the right direction.

"In the second quarter, we made further progress on our efforts to enhance financial stability, improve the customer experience and reinvigorate the brand," he said, in a statement. "The widespread visibility surrounding our record-breaking June launch of the Palm ( PALM) Pre handset gave us an unprecedented opportunity to showcase these improvements to customers as 'a new Sprint'."

Sprint is clearly looking to woo customers with the latest smartphones, and began offering Research In Motion's ( RIMM) Blackberry Tour device earlier this month.

"Postpaid subscriber trends need to improve," said Hesse during a conference call early Wednesday, adding that "third-party" deals with the likes of Radioshack ( RSH) and Best Buy ( BBY) will help the company achieve this.

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