Sprint reported mixed results for the third quarter Wednesday, reporting a narrower quarterly loss than analysts estimated and adding subscribers.
The fourth-largest wireless operator opted not to hold an earnings call when it released its results, as did T-Mobile, adding fuel to a flurry of merger talk speculation.
Sprint reported a net loss of $48 million, better than the $101.9 million loss expected by analysts. The loss shrank about 66 percent from the same period a year ago. Sprint said $34 million of hurricane-related charges impacted the quarterly loss.
Revenue of $7.93 billion was lower than analysts’ estimates of $8.07 billion.
The carrier reported postpaid phone gains of 279,000 subscribers and prepaid gains of 95,000. Prepaid gains were a stark improvement compared to losses of 427,000 for the same period last year, but were still in line with estimates.
However churn remains a problem for Sprint, with total postpaid churn of 1.72 percent, five basis points above estimates, and that figure is 20 basis points higher than last year, which MoffettNathanson analysts called even “more troubling.”
“Unlike its peers, Sprint’s churn rates continue to rise rather than fall,” MoffettNathanson analysts wrote in a note to investors.
On a phone-only basis churn of 1.59 percent was four basis points worse than estimates, and 22 basis points worse year over year.
According to MoffettNathanson analysts, if Sprint hadn’t changed their accounting method, phone-only churn this quarter would have been the company’s weakest result since the first quarter of 2015.