Sprint Corporation reported results for the fiscal year 2019 first quarter, including year-over-year growth in postpaid wireless service revenue and postpaid net additions. The company also reported a net loss of $111 million, operating income of $455 million, and adjusted EBITDA* of $3 billion.
“While we delivered good results in the first quarter relative to expectations, the business still faces several structural headwinds and I remain convinced the merger with T-Mobile is the best outcome for our customers, employees, industry and all stakeholders,” said Sprint CEO Michel Combes. “With the recent clearance of our merger by the Department of Justice, and the anticipated approval from the FCC, we are moving one step closer to building one of the world’s most advanced 5G networks and providing American consumers a better network and overall experience at New T-Mobile.”
Stable Wireless Service Revenue
Sprint has focused on growing revenue per customer account by selling additional devices and value-added services, including promoting its feature-rich Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Premium rate plans. This strategy delivered year-over-year growth in postpaid wireless service revenue and postpaid net additions of 134,000, driven by growth in data devices and partially offset by postpaid phone customer losses. The company also reported a stabilization of postpaid ARPA and average postpaid accounts.
Total wireless service revenue of $5.3 billion declined 3 percent year-over-year, largely because of the continued amortization of prepaid contract balances as a result of adopting the new revenue standard last year. Excluding this non-operational impact, total wireless service revenue would have been relatively flat year-over-year.
The company also reported the following financial results.
|(Millions, except per share data)||Fiscal 1Q19||Fiscal 1Q18||Change|
|Net (loss) income attributable to Sprint||($111)||$176||($287)|
|Basic (loss) income per share||($0.03)||$0.04||($0.07)|
|Net cash provided by operating activities||$2,244||$2,430||($186)|
|Adjusted free cash flow*||($58)||$8||($66)|
Network Investments Continued as Sprint Launches True Mobile 5G Network
Sprint’s quarterly network investments, or cash capital expenditures excluding leased devices, of $1.2 billion grew year-over-year for the fourth consecutive quarter as the company made continued progress on executing its Next-Gen Network plan. Sprint nearly doubled the number of Massive MIMO radios on-air during the quarter and currently has about 3,000 units deployed.
Massive MIMO is a breakthrough technology that improves network capacity and is at the foundation of Sprint’s True Mobile 5G network. The company is using 64T64R (64 transmitters 64 receivers) Massive MIMO radios that support a feature called split-mode, which enables Sprint to simultaneously deliver LTE and 5G New Radio (NR) service.
True Mobile 5G from Sprint is available in areas of Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City, and the company expects to launch service in areas of Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., in the coming weeks. Once all nine metro areas are launched, Sprint’s mobile 5G network will cover approximately 2,100 square miles and 11 million people, giving Sprint the largest initial 5G coverage footprint in the U.S. The company is offering 5G capable smartphones from LG and Samsung, along with a hotspot device from HTC.
As Sprint launches True Mobile 5G, the company continues to believe that a merger with T-Mobile is critical to accelerate the deployment of a ubiquitous, nationwide 5G network – one that includes coverage in rural locations. The combined company is expected to have the resources and technology to build a 5G network that fuels innovation across every industry, dramatically increasing competition, unleashing new economic growth, and creating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in U.S. economic value. Together, the combined company is expected to lead the world in next-generation technology services and applications, bringing 5G service to nearly all Americans.
Building a Digital Disruptor
Sprint continued to leverage digital capabilities to transform the way it engages with customers.
- Postpaid gross additions in digital channels increased approximately 50 percent year-over-year.
- Approximately 30 percent of all Sprint customer care chats are now performed by virtual agents using artificial intelligence.
- The company launched voice-to-digital tools that allow customers calling with specific issues to use a digital self-service option.
- Web conversions improved and orders from digital media more than doubled year-over-year.
- Additional information about results, including a message from management, is available on our Investor Relations website at www.sprint.com/investors.
|Wireless Operating Statistics (Unaudited)|
|Quarter To Date|
|Net additions (losses) (in thousands)|
|Wholesale and affiliate||(140)||(147)||(69)|
|Total wireless net (losses) additions||(175)||(8)||57|
|End of period connections (in thousands)|
|Postpaid phone(b) (c)||26,470||26,598||26,847|
|Prepaid(a) (b) (c)||8,647||8,816||9,033|
|Wholesale and affiliate (c) (d) (e)||12,590||12,897||13,347|
|Total end of period connections||54,312||54,487||54,567|
|Supplemental data – connected devices|
|End of period connections (in thousands)|
|Wholesale and affiliate||9,968||10,384||10,963|
|Postpaid||$ 42.57||$ 43.25||$ 43.55|
|Postpaid phone||$ 49.87||$ 50.18||$ 49.57|
|Prepaid||$ 32.15||$ 33.67||$ 36.27|
|Average postpaid accounts (in thousands)||11,208||11,184||11,176|
|Postpaid ARPA||$ 124.89||$ 126.12||$ 124.93|
|(a)During the three-month period ended June 30, 2019, net subscriber additions and end of period subscribers under the non-Sprint branded postpaid plan offering were 116,000 and 670,000, respectively, and are included in total retail postpaid subscribers above.|
|(b)During the three-month period ended June 30, 2018, we ceased selling devices in our installment billing program under one of our brands and as a result, 45,000 subscribers were migrated back to prepaid from postpaid.|
|(c) As a result of our affiliate agreement with Shentel, certain subscribers have been transferred from postpaid and prepaid to affiliates. During the three-month period ended June 30, 2018, 10,000 and 4,000 subscribers were transferred from postpaid and prepaid, respectively, to affiliates.|
|(d) During the three-month period ended June 30, 2019, one of our postpaid customers purchased a wholesale MVNO and as a result, 167,000 subscribers were transferred from the wholesale to postpaid subscriber base.|
|(e) On April 1, 2018, approximately 115,000 wholesale subscribers were removed from the subscriber base with no impact to revenue.|
|(f) ARPU is calculated by dividing service revenue by the sum of the monthly average number of connections in the applicable service category. Changes in average monthly service revenue reflect connections for either the postpaid or prepaid service category who change rate plans, the level of voice and data usage, the amount of service credits which are offered to connections, plus the net effect of average monthly revenue generated by new connections and deactivating connections. Postpaid phone ARPU represents revenues related to our postpaid phone connections.|
|(g) ARPA is calculated by dividing postpaid service revenue by the sum of the monthly average number of retail postpaid accounts.|