Sprint (S 8.34, -0.73) has slid to a fresh low for the year, falling 8.1%, in reaction to mixed results for the fourth quarter.
The wireless carrier reported a below-consensus loss of $0.07 per share on a 5.8% year-over-year increase in revenue to $8.54 billion, which was ahead of expectations.
Net additions in the fourth quarter totaled 187,000. Postpaid net losses of 118,000 were offset by prepaid net additions of 180,000 and wholesale & affiliate net additions of 125,000. Sprint had 930,000 net additions in 2016, representing the highest level in four years. Investors will be keeping an eye on the subscriber count, considering price wars have heated up with every major industry player now offering unlimited service.
Operating revenue grew 5.8% year-over-year to $8.50 billion while operating revenue for the full year increased 3.6% to $33.35 billion, representing the first increase in three years.
In addition to growing its operating revenue, Sprint saw an acceleration in cost reductions, leading to the highest annual operating income ($1.80 billion) in ten years. During the fourth quarter, operating income increased more than $450 million year-over-year to $470 million.
Postpaid phone churn for the quarter checked in at 1.58%, higher than the full-year rate of 1.48%, which represented a record low for the company. Fourth quarter total postpaid churn was 1.75% during the fourth quarter and 1.62% for the full year.
Looking ahead, Sprint expects that 2017 operating income will be between $2.00 and $2.50 billion with adjusted EBITDA between $10.70 billion and $11.20 billion.