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Sprint’s customer count tops 60 million, pushing revenues higher

Sprint’s customer count topped 60 million at the end of September, growing by 740,000 during the third quarter.
Sprint’s customer count topped 60 million at the end of September, growing by 740,000 during the third quarter. (File photo)

Sprint’s customer count topped 60 million at the end of September, according to official third-quarter earnings results it posted Tuesday.

The Overland Park-based wireless company had said last week that its customer count had grown by 740,000 during the quarter. Tuesday’s report confirmed those preliminary results from last week.

Sprint’s update showed it added 344,000 higher-revenue customers but lost 427,000 prepaid customers who buy service from month to month. Its wholesale customers, who buy service through other companies that connect to the Sprint network, grew by 823,000.

With 60.193 million subscribers, up from 58.578 million a year ago, Sprint posted its first increase in year-over-year revenues in more than two years at $8.25 billion. It still posted a net loss of $142 million.

“We took another step forward in our plan toward sustainable profitability and cash generation with this quarter’s results,” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said in the company’s announcement. “The top line is now growing, we continue to take costs out of the business, and we are successfully raising money at materially lower rates to reduce our future cash interest expenses.”

The company’s 3 percent growth in revenues included a nearly 5 percent growth in wireless business revenues.

We took another step forward in our plan toward sustainable profitability and cash generation with this quarter’s results.

Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO

Sprint management had been focused on stabilizing revenues while cutting billions of dollars in costs to improve financial results. The company said expense cuts so far have totaled $1.1 billion.

The $142 million loss in the third quarter was down from $585 million in the same months of 2015. Operations profited by $622 million, though the operating profit total ignores some costs such as paying interest on debt.

The preliminary report had come as investors weighed purchase of bonds Sprint issued to borrow $3.5 billion secured by its wireless airwaves licenses.

Sprint remains No. 4 in subscribers behind T-Mobile USA and the nation’s two largest wireless carriers, Verizon and AT&T.

Mark Davis: 816-234-4372, @mdkcstar

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