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Sprint Reports Turnaround Profit for the First Quarter

April 16, 2002|From Times Wire Services

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Sprint Corp., the No. 3 U.S. long-distance firm, on Monday reported a turnaround profit for the first quarter and said it's making progress in efforts to boost earnings.

On a consolidated basis, including both its long-distance phone and wireless communications businesses, Sprint's earnings totaled $140 million, contrasted with a loss of $76 million a year ago. Revenue rose 8% to $6.76 billion.

FON Group, Sprint's local and long-distance service, said operating profit fell 9% to $286 million, or 32 cents a share, 2 cents better than the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call. Sales fell 8% to $4.03 billion.

Long-distance sales have slumped throughout the industry as rates dropped and AT&T Corp. and WorldCom Inc. launched flat-rate calling plans.

Sprint said it saw signs that long-distance pricing had begun to stabilize in the first quarter, but it wanted more time to determine if the worst was over.

Sprint PCS, the company's wireless unit, reported a loss of $146 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with a loss of $391 million, or 40 cents, a year earlier as revenue climbed 41% to $2.85 billion. Analysts had expected a loss of 20 cents.

Sprint's results and outlook sent its shares surging in after- hours activity. Sprint FON, down 78 cents to $13.47 in regular New York Stock Exchange trading, rose to $14.10 after hours. Sprint PCS, up 6 cents to $10.02 in regular trading, jumped to $11.30 after hours.

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