When I'm having a bad day, I try to cheer myself up with a little game. I remind myself that I don't have to run a telecom company. Lots of debt, lots of regulation, and lots of competitors... now that's a bad combination.

Sprint's (NYSE:PCS) latest quarterly report confirms my fears about the telecom sector.

Sprint says it turned profits into losses. The Kansas City-based telecom provider posted a consolidated net loss of $498 million compared with net income of $519 million last year. Ouch! Investors responded by pushing the stock down 90 cents to $4.41 on Thursday.

But if you believe management, good things are on the way and it's only a matter of time before things turn around. CEO Gary Forsee, who took the helm in March, pledged to cut costs by 5% to 7%. He'll need to. Sprint's acquisition costs surged to $465 per customer from $396 last year, the highest among the top six telecom-providers.

The only bright spot is that Sprint now expects free cash flow of about $300 million for the year, up from its previous estimate of $200 million. There are also some promising sounds coming from other telecoms. Nextel (NASDAQ:NXTL) recently beat expectations, and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is also expected to post strong results.

Still, I think it's bit premature to invest in the telecom sector. I'll wait to hear the ring of profits.

Brian R. Hook, publisher of BizBlip.com, can be reached by email at brhook@bizblip.com.