Sprint Loss Beats Estimate, Despite Customer Losses

Sprint Nextel
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Sprint Nextel, an acquisition target of both Japan's SoftBank and Dish Network, posted a smaller than expected quarterly loss, even as it saw steep customer losses from the Nextel network it is shutting down.

Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider, on Wednesday recorded a first-quarter loss of $643 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a loss of $863 million, or 29 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts had expected a loss of 33 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

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Revenue rose to $8.79 billion from $8.73 billion. Analysts had expected $8.71 billion.

Sprint reported a subscriber loss of 560,000 for the quarter compared with expectations for a loss of almost 525,000 from five analysts contacted by Reuters.

The company said it now expects 2013 adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization at the high-end of its previously announced target of between $5.2 billion and $5.5 billion, excluding costs of closing strategic transactions.

Sprint's board is currently evaluating a $25.5 billion acquisition offer from No. 2 U.S. satellite TV service Dish, which challenged Sprint's October agreement to sell 70 percent of the company to SoftBank for $20.1 billion.