Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Sprint Reports Record 1.58 Million Wireless Adds in Q4

Sprint posted record wireless and DSL subscriber gains along with a continued decline in long distance for Q4 2004. Total consolidated revenues for 2004 were $27.4 billion, a 5% increase compared to 2003. Fourth quarter revenues increased 4% compared to the year- ago period and were flat sequentially. In the quarter, Sprint reported a double-digit year-over-year increase in Wireless revenues and steady Local performance offset by a decline in Long Distance. In the quarter, each of Sprint's customer-facing sales units reported revenues consistent with third quarter levels. Some highlights:

  • Sprint had 1.58 million net wireless additions in Q4, including 526,000 from direct, 923,000 from wholesale and 133,000 through affiliate partners, making this a record quarter. Sprint had more than 17.8 million total direct customers at the end of 2004, reflecting a full-year increase of just under 2.0 million. At the end of the year, Wireless was serving a total of 24.8 million customers, an increase of 4.4 million, or 22%, from a year ago.

  • At the end of the year, Sprint had nearly 7.7 million direct wireless data subscribers, including 6.2 million Sprint PCS Vision subscribers. In the quarter, data contributed 9% to overall ARPU.

  • Sprint Local's total voice access lines in service declined 2.9%, or 229,000 lines, from the year-ago period as access lines continue to be impacted by wireless substitution and competition from cable providers.

  • Sprint Local added 60,000 DSL subscribers in the quarter and ended the year with nearly 500,000 customers, an increase of more than 60% from a year ago.

  • DSL service revenues reached nearly $225 million in 2004. This growth drove a 13% year-over-year increase in quarterly data revenues.

  • Sprint Local had 24,000 satellite video subscribers, an increase of more than 80% from 2004 third quarter.

  • In the quarter, Sprint's total voice revenues declined approximately 12% from the year-ago period and 5% sequentially. In addition to the higher billing adjustments, the sequential comparison was impacted by a favorable change in regulatory fee accounting related to an FCC ruling. In Q4, consumer voice revenues declined 25% compared to a year ago while business voice revenues, including wholesale and affiliates, declined by 8%.

  • Data revenues decreased 12% from the fourth quarter of 2003 and 5% sequentially. Frame Relay and Private Line services declined at low double- digit rates compared to the year-ago period while ATM revenues were 4% lower. Dedicated IP revenues increased 8% year-over-year and 4% sequentially, but this was more than offset by the impact from exiting Dial IP and Web Hosting services.

  • Full-year 2004 capital expenditures totaled $4.0 billion. In Wireless, Sprint invested $2.6 billion adding network capacity, improving coverage and beginning the EV-DO buildout. Long Distance invested $282 million maintaining and adding capacity to the network and deploying a Next Generation Voice Network for cable customers and new VoIP services. Local spent a little more than $1.0 billion adding new capabilities, supporting customer requirements and maintaining current facilities.

  • Q4 diluted earnings per share (GAAP) from continuing operations were 29 cents. This compares to 7 cents earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2003.

  • Q4 free cash flow totaled $624 million and full-year free cash flow was $2.0 billion.

  • Net debt at year-end was approximately $12.6 billion, beating a year-end goal of $13 billion.

See also