What happened

Shares of No. 4 wireless carrier Sprint (NYSE:S) have jumped today, up by 10% as of 12:30 p.m. EDT, after the company reported fiscal second-quarter earnings results. Executives are hopeful that the merger with T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), which also reported earnings last night, may pass regulatory muster.

So what

Total revenue was $8.4 billion, and service revenue grew for the first time in five years when excluding the impact of new revenue recognition standards. Net income was $196 million, or $0.05 per share. Both top- and bottom-line results beat consensus estimates, which called for $7.97 billion in revenue and a net loss of $0.01 per share.

Sprint reported retail net additions of 95,000. The company lost prepaid and wholesale customers but added 109,000 all-important postpaid customers. Analysts were expecting the company to lose 10,000 net subscribers. The carrier closed the quarter with 54.5 million total connections.

Marcelo Claure and John Legere announcing the T-Mobile/Sprint merger

Image source: T-Mobile.

Now what

Overshadowing the results was positive commentary from management and tangible progress regarding the pending megamerger. T-Mobile announced yesterday that it had received shareholder approval for the deal. While expected, that's one step closer to getting the deal done, although the most significant hurdle was always destined to be regulatory approval, given antitrust concerns.

"Now, we have a lot of respect for the regulatory process, which is not yet finished," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said on the Un-carrier's earnings call last night. "We have completed a number of major milestones and remain optimistic and confident that once the facts are reviewed by regulators, they will recognize the significant pro-competitive and pro-consumer benefits of this combination."

Other analysts have expressed optimism that the deal may obtain regulatory clearance, and T-Mobile expects it to close in the first half of 2019.

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