Sprint Nextel Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Results

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), February 07, 2013 - Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) today reported fourth quarter consolidated net operating revenue of $9 billion and full year 2012 consolidated net operating revenue of $35.3 billion. Sprint reported record quarterly and annual Sprint platform wireless service revenues of nearly $7 billion and $27.1 billion, respectively. Driven by increasing postpaid ARPU and continued Sprint platform subscriber growth, wireless service revenues for the Sprint platform grew 12 percent year-over-year for the quarter and nearly 15 percent for the full year.

The company reported a net loss of $1.3 billion and a diluted net loss of $.44 per share for the fourth quarter of 2012 as compared to a net loss of $1.3 billion and a diluted net loss of $.43 per share in the fourth quarter of 2011. Sprint’s fourth quarter 2012 results include accelerated depreciation of approximately $400 million, or negative $.13 per share (pre-tax), primarily related to Network Vision, including the expected shutdown of the Nextel platform, and $45 million or negative $.01 per share (pre-tax) related to impacts from Hurricane Sandy.

The Sprint platform postpaid subscriber base grew for the eleventh consecutive quarter, with net additions of 401,000 driven by a postpaid Nextel recapture rate of 51 percent, or 333,000 subscribers, and strong 4G LTE smartphone sales. Sprint platform prepaid net additions equaled 525,000 due in part to the best ever quarterly prepaid Nextel recapture rate of 50 percent, or 188,000 subscribers. Sprint sold approximately 2.2 million iPhones in the fourth quarter with 38 percent purchased by new customers. As of the end of the fourth quarter, Sprint had sold more than 4 million 4G LTE smartphones.

“Sprint’s strong performance was fueled by record wireless service revenue on the Sprint platform due to year-over-year postpaid ARPU growth and Sprint platform net additions,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “As a result, quarterly Adjusted OIBDA* performance improved year-over-year in spite of significant cost increases related to Network Vision and the iPhone, both of which are key investments for our business that we expect will improve the customer experience and lead to growth in the years ahead.”


Sprint continues to make significant progress on Network Vision deployment. The number of sites that are either ready for construction or already underway has grown to more than 19,500 – approximately half the total number of sites to be upgraded. To date more than 8,000 sites are on air and meeting speed and coverage enhancement targets. Recent weekly construction starts are up 56 percent from the third quarter. Sprint continues to expect to have 12,000 sites on air by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

As part of Network Vision, Sprint has launched 4G LTE in 58 cities and expects that 4G LTE will be available in nearly 170 additional cities in the coming months. During 2012 Sprint launched 15 4G LTE devices including Apple iPad mini and iPad with Retina Display, LG Optimus G™ and Samsung Galaxy Note® II in the fourth quarter.


During the fourth quarter, Sprint received the Frost & Sullivan North American Customer Value Enhancement Award in Mobile Communications and Collaboration. Sprint was also named to Connected World magazine’s annual list of the 100 most important and influential providers of machine-to-machine services and is number 16 on Chief Executive magazine’s 2013 Best Companies for Leaders list. For the fourth straight year, Newsweek’s annual Green Rankings recognized Sprint as one of the greenest companies in the U.S., ranking the company third among the greenest companies in America in its 2012 report. Finally, the Global Reporting Initiative verified Sprint is the first U.S. telecom company to deliver an “A+” Corporate Responsibility Performance Report.

During the fourth quarter, Sprint introduced a variety of products and services that benefit customers across its brands. Sprint launched Pinsight Media+™, a new advertising service that gives advertisers the power to reach consumers on their mobile device in a more personalized way. Sprint unveiled Sprint VelocitySM, a pioneering capability that encompasses the development, integration and marketing of in-vehicle communications systems. Automakers can use Sprint Velocity as a complete turnkey solution or on a modular basis to suit their customized needs. Sprint’s Global Wholesale & Emerging Solutions group introduced two new products: Sprint Phone Connect for Wholesale, a plug-and-play device product that allows mobile virtual network operators to provide their customers with a low-cost, high-quality home phone service without the need for a landline or broadband service, and Mobile Broadband on Demand, which allows international, retail, travel and hospitality companies to generate new revenue streams through the sale or rental of mobile broadband devices on Sprint’s trusted networks. Sprint’s Assurance Wireless® brand for eligible low-income consumers, launched service in Idaho and New Mexico in the fourth quarter and its Virgin Mobile USA prepaid brand began offering the award-winning Samsung Galaxy S® II 4G.


During the fourth quarter, Sprint raised additional debt financing of nearly $2.3 billion and used the proceeds to retire nearly $1.2 billion of 2014 debt maturities and more than $1.1 billion of 2015 maturities. The remaining outstanding principal balances of Sprint’s 2013, 2014 and 2015 maturities are $366 million, $247 million and $566 million, respectively. Sprint also received $3.1 billion from SoftBank in exchange for a newly issued 1 percent, seven-year convertible bond related to the companies’ pending merger.

As of December 31, 2012, the company’s liquidity was approximately $9.5 billion consisting of $8.2 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments and $1.3 billion of undrawn borrowing capacity available under its revolving bank credit facility. Additionally, the company has borrowed $296 million to-date of available funding under the secured equipment credit facility, reducing the remaining undrawn availability to $704 million. Sprint generated $216 million of cash flow from operating activities and negative Free Cash Flow* of $1.3 billion in the quarter.


The company expects 2013 Adjusted OIBDA* to be between $5.2 billion and $5.5 billion.

Wireless Operating Statistics (Unaudited)                          
    Quarter To Date       Year To Date  
    12/31/12     9/30/12     12/31/11         12/31/12     12/31/11    
Net Additions (Losses) (in thousands)                          
Sprint platform:                          


  401     410     539         1,516     1,283    


  525     459     899         2,305     4,293    

Wholesale and affiliate

  (243 )   14     954         944     2,697    
Total Sprint platform   683     883     2,392         4,765     8,273    
Nextel platform:                          


  (644 )   (866 )   (378 )       (2,653 )   (1,381 )  


  (376 )   (440 )   (392 )       (1,507 )   (1,781 )  
Total Nextel platform   (1,020 )   (1,306 )   (770 )       (4,160 )   (3,162 )  
Total retail postpaid net (losses) additions   (243 )   (456 )   161         (1,137 )   (98 )  
Total retail prepaid net additions   149     19     507         798     2,512    
Total wholesale and affiliate net (losses) additions   (243 )   14     954         944     2,697    
Total Wireless Net (Losses) Additions   (337 )   (423 )   1,622         605     5,111    
End of Period Subscribers (in thousands)                          
Sprint platform:                          


  30,245     29,844     28,729         30,245     28,729    


  15,133     14,608     12,828         15,133     12,828    
Wholesale and affiliate   8,162     8,405     7,218         8,162     7,218    
Total Sprint platform   53,540     52,857     48,775         53,540     48,775    
Nextel platform:                          


  1,632     2,276     4,285         1,632     4,285</