Sprint announced its quarterly earnings today and the news is mixed. On the plus side, Sprint added 1.6 million net subscribers, which is its best quarterly result in six years. It now has a total subscriber of about 55 million, an all-time high for the wireless carrier. The company sold 1.8 million iPhones in the quarter, 40 percent of which were to new customers. Over the course of the year, Sprint added more than 5 million net new customers to its rolls.
Handset sales are strong and subscriber count is growing, but the company is still bleeding cash. Sprint reported a net loss of $1.3 billion in the quarter and $2.89 billion for the year. Network Vision upgrade costs and both subsidies and sales expenses associated with the iPhone reduced the company’s bottom line.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse remains optimistic about the company’s performance and its immediate future.
“Our strong fourth quarter performance illustrates the power of matching iconic devices like the iPhone with our simple, unlimited plans and industry-leading customer experience. During the past year, Sprint added more than 5 million net new customers and grew wireless service revenue by more than 5 percent, including 17 percent for the Sprint platform. This momentum gives us confidence as we execute our Network Vision upgrade and 4G LTE roll-out.”
Of course, such optimism about the company’s future is the job of the CEO, especially when a company is struggling to make ends meet.