Sprint's loss widens, vows to cut $2 billion in costs this year

Tue May 3, 2016 11:34am EDT
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By Malathi Nayak and Sai Sachin R

(Reuters) - Sprint Corp on Tuesday reported a wider quarterly loss and added fewer subscribers than expected, but vowed to cut more than $2 billion in costs in the current fiscal year to stop the red ink. Sprint shares, which had fallen about 4 percent so far this year, jumped as much as 5.7 percent on Tuesday before easing, up 1 percent at $3.53.

Net operating revenue fell to $8.07 billion in the fourth quarter from $8.28 billion a year earlier.

Sprint's net loss widened to $554 million, or 14 cents per share, from $224 million, or 6 cents per share, and fell short of the average analyst estimate of a net loss of 12 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sprint has been offering customers half-off discounts to switch from rival networks.

"There's been a lot of talk (about) whether we're being irresponsible bringing in customers at 50 percent off," Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure said on an earnings conference call. "That's absolutely not the case."

Sprint aims to reduce costs by over $2 billion by slashing jobs and expenses by the end of fiscal year 2016 in an attempt to reverse years of customer defections and losses.

The No. 4 U.S. wireless carrier said it shed $1.3 billion in costs in fiscal year 2015.

Claure said Sprint was committed in the fiscal year to cutting costs in such areas as sales and marketing, customer care and information technology.   Continued...

The logo of U.S. mobile network operator Sprint Corp is seen at a Sprint store in San Marcos, California August 3, 2015.        REUTERS/Mike Blake