Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) reported earnings on April 24. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Sprint Nextel met expectations on revenues and exceeded expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew slightly. GAAP loss per share dropped.

Gross margins expanded, operating margins shrank, net margins grew.

Revenue details
Sprint Nextel booked revenue of $8.79 billion. The 18 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected a top line of $8.73 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were the same as the prior-year quarter's.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at -$0.21. The 13 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated -$0.30 per share. GAAP EPS were -$0.21 for Q1 against -$0.29 per share for the prior-year quarter.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 43.9%, 210 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 0.3%, 70 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -7.3%, 260 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $8.67 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is -$0.22.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $35.09 billion. The average EPS estimate is -$0.76.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 2,025 members out of 2,493 rating the stock outperform, and 468 members rating it underperform. Among 444 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 346 give Sprint Nextel a green thumbs-up, and 98 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Sprint Nextel is outperform, with an average price target of $6.86.

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