Sprint reports lower Q2 earnings, but beats estimates

Sprint reported earnings for its long distance and wireless divisions Thursday, beating Wall Street's reduced expectations, but posting declining profits and revenue in its long-distance unit.

Sprint's FON Group reported earnings of US$290 million, or $0.33 a share, compared with $443 million, or $0.50 a share, in the second quarter last year. The FON Group covers the global market, local telecommunication, product distribution and directory publishing businesses. Eighteen Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call gave an average earnings estimate of $0.28 a share. Second-quarter revenue of $4.31 billion declined 3 percent from $4.45 billion in the same period last year.

Sprint's PCS Group, its wireless operations unit, reported a loss of $0.26 per share compared to the $0.46 per-share loss a year ago and the $0.33 a share loss estimated by 27 analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call.

Sprint's wireless business should do about as well as last year in the coming quarter, said Arthur B. Krause, the company's executive vice president and chief financial officer, in a conference call. But customer "churn," or the turnover rate, could increase as contracts are not renewed, he said.

Sprint's wireless business added about 1 million customers over the last 12 months, a 60 percent increase in its customer base from the second quarter last year.

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