Sprint Climbs Despite Widening Loss (Update 1)

This story has been updated with Sprint's share price.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sprint ( S) shares climbed 1.88% to $5.85 during morning trading on Tuesday, despite the company's widening second-quarter loss following the shutdown of its Nextel network.

Excluding items, Sprint reported a loss of 53 cents a share early on Tuesday, compared to a loss of 46 cents a share in the same period last year. Wall Street had predicted a loss of 30 cents a share.

The company's operating loss of $874 million included noncash charges of $623 million related to the scheduled shutdown of its Nextel platform on June 30.

The telecom giant, however, posted revenue of $8.88 billion its first quarterly results since its merger with Softbank, up slightly from $8.84 billion in the prior year's quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for sales of $8.73 billion.

Within its overall revenue number, the company's wireless service revenue increased 8% year over year to $7.2 billion

Sprint's results follow an eventful few months for the Overland Park, Kan.-based firm. Earlier this month, Japanese telecom firm Softbank completed its merger with Sprint, strengthening the American firm's balance sheet. Sprint also completed its acquisition of Clearwire, which followed a deal to acquire U.S. Cellular ( USM) spectrum and customers in the Midwest.

"This is a historic time for Sprint," said Dan Hesse, the Sprint CEO, in a statement released early on Tuesday. "We recently shut down the Nextel platform and completed the Clearwire, SoftBank and U.S. Cellular transactions. In the second quarter, we achieved record levels in Sprint platform postpaid subscribers, service revenue and postpaid ARPU, and increased our 4G LTE footprint."

Sprint added 194,000 postpaid subscribers during the quarter and also enjoyed postpaid ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) of $64.20. Some 86% of Sprint's postpaid handset sales were smartphones, including approximately 1.4 million Apple ( AAPL) iPhones. Sprint said that 41% of its iPhone sales were to new customers.

Early on Tuesday, Sprint also announced that its 4G LTE service is now available in 41 new markets, including Philadelphia, the Bronx and Brooklyn, taking its coverage to 151 markets.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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