It seems that Little Yellow has seen its first signs of green in its first fiscal quarter of 2017. Sprint reported its first positive net income in three years totaling $206 million — a much better figure from the mere $23 million it was able to eke out in 1Q14.
Revenues of $8.2 billion (up slightly from last year) were reduced to $1.2 billion in operating income (bested by a multiple of 3.7). A years-long cost-cutting program continues to yield savings in operational costs while service pricing promotions continue to drive customers in. The nation’s fourth-largest carrier by subscriber base, though, has lost postpaid subscribers for two quarters in a row.
This time around, the figure dropped by 39,000 subscribers. Postpaid phone adds did go up to 88,000, though. The net movement — combining a reboot in prepaid with better wholesale and affiliate sales — is positive with a gain of 61,000 subscribers to nearly 53.7 million. Churn is up 9 basis points on an annual basis to 1.65 percent.
The bigger picture outlook is positive as merger and acquisition chatter surrounding the company has helped buoy Sprint’s stock performance. CEO Marcelo Claure disclosed that he was surprised as wireline telco Charter never approached the carrier for an acquisition. Earlier this week, Reuters reported from sources that parent company SoftBank was looking to acquire Charter and the remaining shares of Sprint it doesn’t own (about 17 percent) for the purposes of operating them as a combined unit.
The potential is still there, though, for a cellular combination as has been floated around T-Mobile.
“The talks with T-Mobile have been encouraging, the talks with other partners have been encouraging,” Claure said during the earnings call. “Everybody has shown a high level of interest in evaluating Sprint as a potential merger partner.”