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Sprint Corporation Shares Rising on Strong Earnings, Bold Guidance

By Anders Bylund - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:10PM

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Sprint paired a fourth-quarter earnings surprise with bold plans for 2014, giving shares an immediate 8% boost.

Sprint (S) just reported fourth-quarter results, lifting share prices as much as 8.1% in early trading.

The third largest American telecom reported $9.1 billion in fourth-quarter revenue, a 1.5% year over year increase and ahead of Wall Street's $9.0 billion sales estimate. Sprint saw a $0.26 GAAP net loss per share, up from a $0.44 loss per share a year ago. Analysts were expecting a larger $0.34 loss per share.

Sprint added 682,000 subscribers in the quarter, including 58,000 postpaid customers on contract and 322,000 prepaid lines. Ninety-five percent of all postpaid phones sold in the fourth quarter were smartphones. The company reached a record high of 53.9 million total subscribers at the end of the quarter.

Looking ahead, Sprint expects adjusted EBITDA of roughly $6.6 billion in 2014, up from $2.4 billion in fiscal year 2013. Capital expenses will more than double, from $3.6 billion to approximately $8 billion.

This heavy infrastructure investment will mainly support the new Sprint Spark network, a triple-band LTE platform that promises network speeds of up to 150 megabits per second. Spark is available in 14 major markets today; Sprint hopes to cover more than 100 urban areas over the next three years.

"We are building a foundation for future success," said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse.

Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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