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Wireless provider swings to a loss

November 08, 2008|Times Wire Services

Sprint Nextel Corp. watched 1.3 million wireless subscribers head for its competitors during the third quarter, leading the company to post a loss that sent its stock skidding.

Dan Hesse, the Overland Park, Kan.-based company's chief executive, said that Sprint Nextel planned to work harder to attract new customers during the upcoming holiday season but acknowledged that "we have yet to turn the corner."

"We made good progress on our operational priorities in the third quarter and resolved some key issues," he said. "Still, subscriber losses are too high."

The nation's third-largest wireless provider said it lost $326 million, or 11 cents a share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. It earned $64 million, or 2 cents, in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Sprint Nextel said it would have broken even during the quarter. On that basis, analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of 3 cents a share.

Sprint Nextel's revenue declined 12% to $8.81 billion. Analysts expected $8.85 billion.

The company's shares fell 31 cents, or 8%, to $3.37.

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