Sprint announced its 4Q08 and FY08 numbers, and they’re beginning to sound like a broken record. They did manage to beat some expectations, primarily due to aggressive cost cutting, and Wall Street rewarded them with a brief rally on their stock.
The Financial Numbers:
- Revenue for 4Q08 was $8.4B, below $8.5B Street forecast. FY revenue was $35.6B vs. $40.1B
- Adjusted loss per share was ($0.01) vs. analyst ($0.03) estimates. Adjusted EPS for the year was $0.09 vs. $0.90 in 2007.
- Sequentially, revenue declined 4%, primarily due to wireless subscriber losses
- Free cash flow declined dramatically from $1.1B in 3Q08 to $536M in 4Q08.
Unfortunately for Sprint, 4Q08 was very reminiscent of 3Q08, with continuing declining subscriber counts, which were down another 1.3 million. Subscriber losses included a successive 1.1 million-subscriber decline in direct post-paid subscribers. ARPU remained flat at $56, but churn ticked up 1 basis point. While consumer and business lines are not broken out, CEO Dan Hesse did note on their earnings call that Sprint has a “disproportionate number of business subscribers and that the current economic environment is having an impact on both blue and white collar.”
The Subscriber Numbers:
- Total wireless subs declined seq to roughly 49.3 M from 50.5M in Q3
- Post paid subs dropped from 37.8M to 36.7M; revs declined from $6.4B to $6.2B
- ARPU stable at $56, but churn rose a tad from 2.15% to 2.16%
- Pre-Paid ARPU dropped from $31 to $30 seq, and churn rose from 8.16% to 8.20
- Total Pre-paid subs declined from 3.9M to 3.6M