Sprint Beats Earnings Estimates, Loses No. 3 Ranking to T-Mobile

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By Alex Barinka

August 4 — Sprint Corp. earnings topped analysts' estimates as promotions helped extend a streak in subscriber gains to a third quarter.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $2.08 billion in the fiscal first quarter ended in June, Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint said Tuesday. That topped the $1.8 billion average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Total users were 56.8 million, compared with T-Mobile US Inc.'s 58.9 million, dropping Sprint to the No. 4 spot among U.S. wireless carriers.

Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure, who's now almost a year into his attempt to turn around the phone carrier, announced his biggest management shake-up Monday with the hiring of Tarek Robbiati as finance chief and Günther Ottendorfer as chief operating officer. Since he was himself brought in by majority owner SoftBank Group Corp. last August, Claure has been focused on ending seven years of customer defections.

“The value of the company doesn't hinge on whether they win or lose 100,000 customers, but it is a key milestone and a focal point as investors look for signs of fundamental improvement,” said Walt Piecyk, an analyst with BTIG LLC.

Sprint shares rose 1.8 percent to $3.40 in early trading. The stock had declined 20 percent this year, while T-Mobile jumped 54 percent.

Sprint's sales fell 3 percent to $8.03 billion last quarter. Analysts predicted $8.33 billion.

Last week, T-Mobile posted profit and sales that exceeded analysts' estimates and raised its forecast for subscriber growth.

[With assistance from Scott Moritz in New York.]

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Barinka in New York at +1-212-617-8664 or abarinka2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecile Daurat at +1-302-661-7607 or cdaurat@bloomberg.net

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