OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jan. 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --
- Wireless service revenue grew year-over-year for the second consecutive quarter, excluding the $199 million impact of the new revenue recognition standard
- Postpaid service revenue grew year-over-year for the first time in five years
- Prepaid service revenue grew year-over-year for the fifth consecutive quarter
- Net loss of $141 million, operating income of $479 million, and adjusted EBITDA* of $3.1 billion
- 12th consecutive quarter of operating income
- Highest fiscal third quarter adjusted EBITDA* in 12 years
- Postpaid net additions of 309,000 grew 53,000 year-over-year
- Sixth consecutive quarter of net additions
- 10th consecutive quarter of net additions in the business market
- Continued progress on Next-Gen Network plans
- Network investments of $1.4 billion more than doubled year-over-year
- Remain on track for mobile 5G launch in the coming months
- Strong progress on digitalization initiatives
- Postpaid gross additions in digital channels increased nearly 70 percent year-over-year
- Approximately 30 percent of all Sprint customer care chats are now performed by virtual agents using artificial intelligence
Sprint Corporation (NYSE: S) today reported fiscal year 2018 third quarter results, including its second consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth in wireless service revenue and its sixth consecutive quarter of postpaid net additions. The company also reported its 12th consecutive quarter of operating income and the highest fiscal third quarter adjusted EBITDA* in 12 years.
"Sprint's strategy of balancing growth and profitability while we work toward regulatory approval of our T-Mobile merger is reflected in our fiscal third quarter results," said Sprint CEO Michel Combes. "We delivered solid financials, increased network investments as we prepare for our mobile 5G launch, and continued the digital transformation of the company."
Continued Growth in Wireless Service Revenue and Reduction in Costs
Sprint reported 309,000 postpaid net additions in the quarter, an improvement of 53,000 year-over-year, as the company continued to offer some of the best unlimited plans in the industry and focused on growing revenue per customer with additional devices and value-added services. This strategy has driven improved wireless service revenue trends in the business, excluding the impact of the new revenue recognition standard.
- Wireless service revenue grew year-over-year for the second consecutive quarter.
- Postpaid service revenue grew year-over-year for the first time in five years.
- Prepaid service revenue grew year-over-year for the fifth consecutive quarter.
Sprint continued to make progress on its multi-year plan to improve its cost structure. Excluding the impact of the new revenue recognition standard and merger costs, the company reported approximately $800 million of combined year-over-year gross reductions in cost of services and selling, general and administrative expenses during the first three quarters of fiscal 2018 and approximately $300 million of net reductions year-to-date. For the full fiscal year, the company expects to deliver gross reductions of more than $1 billion for the fifth consecutive year, with net reductions of less than $500 million after reinvestments.
Net loss of $141 million in the quarter compared to net income of $7.2 billion in the year-ago period, as the fiscal year 2017 third quarter results included a $7.1 billion non-cash benefit from tax reform. The company also reported the following results.
Network Investments Grow as Mobile 5G Launch Approaches
Sprint's quarterly network investments, or cash capital expenditures excluding leased devices, of $1.4 billion more than doubled year-over-year and increased approximately $150 million sequentially as the company made continued progress on executing its Next-Gen Network plan.
- Sprint completed thousands of tri-band upgrades and now has 2.5 GHz spectrum deployed on approximately 75 percent of its macro sites.
- Sprint added thousands of new outdoor small cells and currently has 27,000 deployed including both mini macros and strand mounts.
- Sprint has deployed hundreds of Massive MIMO radios, which increase the speed and capacity of the LTE network and, with a software upgrade, will provide mobile 5G service.
Sprint remains on track to launch its mobile 5G network in the coming months in nine of the largest cities in the country: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. The company has also announced standards-based 5G devices from LG, HTC, and Samsung that will be available soon.
Building a Digital Disruptor
Sprint is leading the U.S. telecommunications industry in leveraging digital capabilities by focusing on three main areas.
- Increasing digital revenue through improvement in gross adds and upgrades through digital channels.
- Providing intelligent customer experience by leveraging artificial intelligence, analytics, and automation.
- Improving digital engagement with the company's in-house digital marketing agency and enhanced app functions.
The company made strong progress on its digital transformation in the quarter.
- Postpaid gross additions in digital channels increased nearly 70 percent year-over-year.
- About one of every six postpaid upgrades occurred in a digital channel.
- Approximately 30 percent of all Sprint customer care chats are now performed by virtual agents using artificial intelligence.
- Introduced Apple Business Chat, allowing customers to chat directly with Sprint 24/7 by sending a message through the Messages app on an iPhone and iPad.
Fiscal Year 2018 Outlook
- The company continues to expect adjusted EBITDA* of $12.4 billion to $12.7 billion.
- Excluding the impact of the new revenue recognition standard, the company continues to expect adjusted EBITDA* of $11.7 billion to $12.0 billion.
- The company continues to expect cash capital expenditures excluding leased devices to be $5.0 billion to $5.5 billion.
Conference Call and Webcast
- Date/Time: 9:30 a.m. (ET) Thursday, January 31, 2019
- Call-in Information
- U.S./Canada: 866-360-1063 (ID: 6879716)
- International: 443-961-0242 (ID: 6879716)
- Webcast available at www.sprint.com/investors
- Additional information about results is available on our Investor Relations website
Sprint provides financial measures determined in accordance with GAAP and adjusted GAAP (non-GAAP). The non-GAAP financial measures reflect industry conventions, or standard measures of liquidity, profitability or performance commonly used by the investment community for comparability purposes. These measurements should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute for, financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. We have defined below each of the non-GAAP measures we use, but these measures may not be synonymous to similar measurement terms used by other companies.
Sprint provides reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures in its financial reporting. Because Sprint does not predict special items that might occur in the future, and our forecasts are developed at a level of detail different than that used to prepare GAAP-based financial measures, Sprint does not provide reconciliations to GAAP of its forward-looking financial measures.
The measures used in this release include the following:
EBITDA is operating income/(loss) before depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA is EBITDA excluding severance, exit costs, and other special items. Adjusted EBITDA Margin represents Adjusted EBITDA divided by non-equipment net operating revenues for Wireless and Adjusted EBITDA divided by net operating revenues for Wireline. We believe that Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin provide useful information to investors because they are an indicator of the strength and performance of our ongoing business operations. While depreciation and amortization are considered operating costs under GAAP, these expenses primarily represent non-cash current period costs associated with the use of long-lived tangible and definite-lived intangible assets. Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin are calculations commonly used as a basis for investors, analysts and credit rating agencies to evaluate and compare the periodic and future operating performance and value of companies within the telecommunications industry.
Postpaid ABPA is average billings per account and calculated by dividing postpaid service revenue earned from postpaid customers plus billings from installment plans and non-operating leases, as well as equipment rentals, by the sum of the monthly average number of postpaid accounts during the period. We believe that ABPA provides useful information to investors, analysts and our management to evaluate average postpaid customer billings per account as it approximates the expected cash collections, including billings from installment plans and non-operating leases, as well as equipment rentals, per postpaid account each month.
Postpaid Phone ABPU is average billings per postpaid phone user and calculated by dividing service revenue earned from postpaid phone customers plus billings from installment plans and non-operating leases, as well as equipment rentals by the sum of the monthly average number of postpaid phone connections during the period. We believe that ABPU provides useful information to investors, analysts and our management to evaluate average postpaid phone customer billings as it approximates the expected cash collections, including billings from installment plans and non-operating leases, as well as equipment rentals, per postpaid phone user each month.
Free Cash Flow is the cash provided by operating activities less the cash used in investing activities other than short-term investments and equity method investments. Adjusted Free Cash Flow is Free Cash Flow plus the proceeds from device financings and sales of receivables, net of repayments. We believe that Free Cash Flow and Adjusted Free Cash Flow provide useful information to investors, analysts and our management about the cash generated by our core operations and net proceeds obtained to fund certain leased devices, respectively, after interest and dividends, if any, and our ability to fund scheduled debt maturities and other financing activities, including discretionary refinancing and retirement of debt and purchase or sale of investments.
Net Debt is consolidated debt, including current maturities, less cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments. We believe that Net Debt provides useful information to investors, analysts and credit rating agencies about the capacity of the company to reduce the debt load and improve its capital structure.
This release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the securities laws. The words "may," "could," "should," "estimate," "project," "forecast," "intend," "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "target," "plan", "outlook," "providing guidance," and similar expressions are intended to identify information that is not historical in nature. All statements that address operating performance, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future — including statements relating to our network, cost reductions, connections growth, and liquidity; and statements expressing general views about future operating results — are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are estimates and projections reflecting management's judgment based on currently available information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. With respect to these forward-looking statements, management has made assumptions regarding, among other things, the development and deployment of new technologies and services; efficiencies and cost savings of new technologies and services; customer and network usage; connection growth and retention; service, speed, coverage and quality; availability of devices; availability of various financings, including any leasing transactions; the timing of various events and the economic environment. Sprint believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date when made. Sprint undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. In addition, forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our company's historical experience and our present expectations or projections. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in Sprint Corporation's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2018. You should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors. Consequently, you should not consider any such list to be a complete set of all potential risks or uncertainties.
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 54.5 million connections as of Dec. 31, 2018 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Today, Sprint's legacy of innovation and service continues with an increased investment to dramatically improve coverage, reliability, and speed across its nationwide network and commitment to launching the first 5G mobile network in the U.S. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint .
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