Sprint Surprises with Profit, Says a Deal May Be Coming Soon

Sprint Surprises with Profit, Says a Deal May Be Coming Soon

Shares of Sprint opened nearly 7% higher on Tuesday after the telecom company reported a quarterly profit for the first time in three years.

The company noted that the quarterly profit was a result of thousands of job cuts a year ago, which cut $4 billion from operating costs. Quarterly revenues totaled $8.16 billion, compared with revenues of $8.01 billion in the first quarter of 2016.

Sprint posted a fiscal first-quarter profit of $206 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $302 million, or 8 cents a share.

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This was Sprint's first net income in three years and the highest Adjusted EBITDA in almost 10 years.

Sprint has added 88,000 postpaid phone connections in the quarter, its eighth consecutive quarter of net additions.

Debt-heavy Sprint has been trying to turn its business around, and CEO Marcelo Claure said on a call with analysts Tuesday that it could "sustain itself" alone. Sprint's quarterly profit amounted to $206 million, up from a $302 million loss in the same period a year ago.

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"Sprint reached an important milestone this quarter by returning to profitability for the first time in three years", Claure said in the company's announcement.

Postpaid subscriber churn rose year over year from 1.56% to 1.65%, but fell from 1.75% in the prior quarter. Verizon's launch of an unlimited data plan hurt Sprint's subscriber numbers during the quarter, Claure conceded, but Sprint added 115,000 new customers in July as the market calmed. But striking a deal with a deep-pocketed partner has become much more hard over the last two years as Sprint has seen its stock rise.

The company pulled out all the stops this past quarter. The Stamford, Connecticut-based cable giant has been negotiating with SoftBank's subsidiary Sprint and Comcast over a potential wireless partnership for the last two months, with the Japanese conglomerate reportedly considering a merger bid following that round of exclusive talks. "Unfortunately, it is precisely these distortions that make M&A so hard". The spokesman also turned down requests for comments on whether the negotiations would continue or whether a different price would perhaps regain Charter's interest in a possible buy out. "The problem is simply Sprint's excessive valuation".

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