Sprint ended the fourth quarter of 2003 with a consolidated net income of US$38 million, down slightly from the fourth quarter of 2002, with losses in its wireless division cancelling out gains in its telecommunications division.
Consolidated net income fell 2.6 percent for Sprint's wireless division and its telecommunications division in 2003's fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31. 2003, compared with net income of $39 million for the fourth quarter of 2002. Consolidated net operating revenues were up 2.1 percent, from $6.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2002 to $6.7 billion, Sprint announced Tuesday.
Both divisions exceeded analysts' per-share consensus expectations.
Sprint's wireless division, the PCS Group, recorded a net loss of $322 million in the fourth quarter of 2003, 26 percent greater than the $255 million net loss in the same quarter of 2002. This comes out to a loss per share of $0.31 in 2003's fourth quarter, compared to a loss per share of $0.25 in 2002's fourth quarter. But PCS officials noted some positive trends, including a net operating revenue increase of 8.4 percent from a year ago, from $3.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2002, to $3.3 billion in the same quarter of 2003.
The PCS Group's adjusted loss per share, which takes into account one-time special items, was $0.10, eight cents better than the adjusted loss per share in the fourth quarter of 2002, and exceeding consensus analyst expectations of an adjusted loss of $0.12 per share, according to Thomson First Call.
The PCS Group also recorded a 15 percent increase in customers in 2003, ending the year with 20.4 million customers, officials noted. "Although there's clearly room to improve ... we are clearly entering 2004 with good momentum," said Robert Dellinger, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Sprint.
Sprint's FON Group, including its global markets division and local division, reported a net income of $360 million, or $0.40 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2003, up from $294 million, or $0.33 per share, in the same quarter of 2002. Net operating revenues were down slightly, from $3.7 billion to $3.5 billion.
The FON Group's adjusted earnings per share were $0.39 for the quarter, up two cents from the fourth quarter, and beating consensus analyst expectations of $0.37, according to Thomson First Call.