Sprint made money in 2015
Overland Park eked out operating income for the quarter and is back in the black for the first fiscal year in nine.
Operating income at Sprint for fiscal Q4 was at $8 million, far short of the $318 million it made the same time a year ago. But the four quarters combined have produced a positive result for the company, up $310 million. It still posted a net loss of $554 million for the year after accounting and taxes go through.
Service revenue has been consistently falling for at least the past eight quarters, though equipment revenue has been up sequentially during the year. Part of that goes to the carrier’s aggressive “half-off” campaign that was designed to steal subscribers from other carriers through a reduced bill. Annual expenses have been reined in, down 13 percent year-over-year. We should expect more cost-cutting measures this year.
The Now Network lost 264,000 prepaid subscribers and ends the year dropping 1.3 million customers from Virgin Mobile USA and Boost Mobile. It has been able to more than compensate with six consecutive quarters of postpaid adds plus continued growth in wholesale and affiliate sign-ons.
In the end, Sprint comes out of fiscal 2015 with 58.8 million subscribers, up 2.67 million. T-Mobile keeps its lead on the straggler with bigger quarterly adds and a user base of 65.5 million.
So, what’s in the yellow-tinted crystal ball? Operating income between $1 billion and $1.5 billion with free cash flow up to break-even levels.