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Sprint net income falls but wireless unit shows growth
Posted: 18-Apr-2001 [Source: Financial Times]

[Analyst predicts another four to five years before data and Internet services will drive Sprint's earnings.]

by Telly Goldstein, New York -- "If Sprint were a man, rather than a telephone carrier, it would appear that his legs walked in opposite directions.

"The third-largest long-distance carrier in the US reported on Tuesday that first-quarter net income plunged 72 per cent to $315m over the year-ago period, including a $675m gain from the sale of its Global One stake.

"Earnings per share from continuing operations were 36 cents in the first quarter compared with 50 cents a year ago. And, the company warned, stiff competition in the long-distance market, spending on new initiatives and a slowing economy would mean that earnings per share in 2001 would be 10 to 15 per cent below Wall Street estimates of $1.54.

"Meanwhile, Sprint PCS - the wireless unit that trades as a tracking stock to the parent company - reported impressive first-quarter growth. The unit added 826,000 new wireless customers and posted operating cash flow of $253m, up from a loss of $181m in the year-ago quarter.

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