Earnings: Sprint Nextel Q4 Down 6 Percent; Major Writedown; Sub Losses; Unlimited Plan With Data

Sprint (NYSE: S) Nextel has reported Q4 revenue of $9.8 billion, a 5.7 percent decline from $10.4 billion in the year-ago period. Excluding a large $29 billion writedown of goodwill, which distorts the net income number, the company had adjusted operating income of $235 million, down 69 percent from $770 million. Weakness in wireless voice was to blame for the results. Some highlights:

— Total wireless subscribers hit 53.8 million, up from 53.1 million at the end of 2006. The growth all came from pre-paid users, as post-paid subscribers declined by 1.2 million.

— Post-paid ARPU declined to $58 from $60, and that includes a 21 percent increase in data ARPU from CDMA customers.

— Pre-paid ARPU was under $28, falling from $30 a year ago.

— For the full year, the company spent $384 million on WiMAX capex and another $193 million on related operating expenses.

— Going forward, the company continues to pursue a reorganization plan, and it expects to report another 1.2 million decline in its post-paid subscriber rolls in the first quarter. Post-paid ARPU is expected to sag further, although no data was given.

Release | Webcast (8:00 AM ET) | Slides (.pdf)