Sprint reports Q1 wireless loss, misses expectations

Sprint announced first quarter earnings on Tuesday of US$315 million or $0.35 per share for its fixed-line FON Group unit, excluding investment and other one time gains, lower than the $0.48 per share reported earnings, excluding items, for the same quarter last year and $0.02 a share below Wall Street analysts' expectations. Sprint's wireless PCS unit reported losses of $0.40 per share, a loss of $0.03 a share more than analysts expected.

Sprint executives cited a weakening economy, expenses rolling out wireless infrastructure for its launch of third-generation wireless services scheduled for later this year, costs incurred expanding its wireline broadband initiative, and stiff competition in the long distance market for contracting earnings.

The company's wireless unit posted revenue increases of 68 per cent, to $2.05 billion from $1.22 billion in the same period last year. However, the FON Group, Sprint's fixed-line unit, contracted by 1 per cent, to $4.36 billion from $4.4 billion a year ago.

A consensus estimate from 20 Wall Street analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial expected the FON Group to earn $0.37 a share and the PCS Group to lose $0.37 cents per share.

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