Sprint's Q3 revenue falls short despite strong subscriber growth

Sprint says it topped both Verizon and AT&T for the fourth straight quarter in terms of subscriber growth.

Sprint missed revenue targets as part of its third quarter earnings report released Tuesday.

But the nation's fourth-largest wireless carrier did show signs of growth in one key area: post-paid subscriber growth.

The Overland Park, Kansas-based company reported a net loss of $479 million, or 12 cents per share, compared to a loss of $836 million, or 21 cents per share, the year prior.

Sprint continues to dig its way out of a years-long revenue slump despite falling short of analyst estimates. The wireless carrier posted net operating revenue of $8.5 billion, up five percent above the previous year.

Wall Street was expecting revenue of at least $8.69 billion.

In terms of subscriber growth, Sprint says it topped both Verizon and AT&T for the fourth straight quarter. The company said it added 405,000 net new post-paid subscribers, its highest growth in four years.

"Sprint is turning the corner," said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. "Even with all the aggressive promotional offers from our competitors, we were still able to add more postpaid phone customers than both Verizon and AT&T while continuing to grow revenues, take costs out of the business, and improve the network."

Last week Verizon, the largest US wireless provider, sparked concerns about future growth and revealed the loss of 167,000 new phone customers in its fourth quarter.

As for the outlook, Sprint expects adjusted fourth quarter revenue between $9.7 billion to $10 billion. Analysts are looking for revenue of $8.67 billion.

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