Shares for Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) jumped 7 percent, or $0.17, Thursday to close the stock market trading session at $2.60. Wells Fargo Securities analyst Jennifer Fritzsche reiterated the “outperform” rating on the stock Thursday, stating that the third largest wireless network operator is likely to pick up subscribers from AT&T and T-Mobile USA.
Although Sprint is still expected to lose subscribers overall in the first quarter of this year, it may not drop as many customers as previously forecast due to its selection of devices (such as Apple’s iPhone) and unlimited data plans – something that no other U.S. wireless service currently provides.
3G Network Coverage
Sprint Nextel has been enhancing its 3G network coverage in several regions throughout the United States. On Thursday, the wireless service provider announced it had improved connections for customers from Detroit to Saginaw. In the past three months, Sprint has implemented 85 network capacity upgrades in eastern Michigan according to the release, with another 190 scheduled for the next 90 days. Customers in the area can expect faster data speeds and fewer dropped calls.
Regional Vice President Kimberly Green-Kerr stated Thursday, “Sprint has a strong and solid presence in Michigan. Not only do we employ hundreds of people throughout the state, but we’ve taken a leadership position with our connected transportation initiatives. The 3G network enhancements only serve to solidify our substantial investment in Michigan.” The improvements are not only isolated to Michigan. Sprint has announced similar recent enhancements in other regions throughout the country.
Teaming Up With Chrysler
A week ago, Sprint announced that it would be the wireless engine in Chrysler Group’s Uconnect™ program. “Chrysler Group and Sprint share a mutual commitment to the delivery of advanced, next-generation connected vehicle and telematics services. print is delighted to be chosen for this unique alliance as we develop a robust wireless engine for Chrysler Group’s Uconnect program,” said Matt Carter, president of Sprint’s Wholesale and Emerging Solutions division.
Stock Performance Charts
Below are the Daily and Year To Date stock charts for Sprint Nextel Corporation.
Shares are up more than 11 percent since their December 30th, 2011 closing level of $2.34. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $2.10 to $6.45 and a market capitalization of $7.79 billion.
Latest Earnings Figures
On February 8th, Sprint Nextel reported its Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Earnings results. For the final quarter of the fiscal year, Sprint added 1.6 million subscribers along with extremely robust iPhone sales.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told investors, “Our strong fourth quarter performance illustrates the power of matching iconic devices like the iPhone with our simple, unlimited plans and industry-leading customer experience. During the past year, Sprint added more than 5 million net new customers and grew wireless service revenue by more than 5 percent, including 17 percent for the Sprint platform. This momentum gives us confidence as we execute our Network Vision upgrade and 4G LTE roll-out.” There were also 539,000 postpaid net additions on the Sprint platform in the quarter.
Despite the positive numbers, the wireless service provider reported a net loss of $1.3 billion and a diluted loss of $0.43 per share for the fourth quarter, which included pre-tax, non-cash charges of $241 million, or $0.08 per share. Those charges consisted of asset and impairment losses of $78 million on property, plant and equipment, $135 million on Sprint’s investment in Clearwire and $28 million in severance costs.
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