Sprint Wireless: A Critical Analysis of Key Financial and Market Performance Issues, Challenges and Successes

For Sprint, Bigger May not be Better

At first blush, financial and market data on Sprint’s wireless revenues, profits, expenses, usage, data services, and subscribers paints a portrait of continued success. While confirming many of these successes, new analysis has revealed difficulty in managing growth, as well as weaknesses and declines in growth rates, market share, per subscriber revenues, and ARPU. The analysis also contradicts the belief that bigger is better. For Sprint, increases in the number of subscribers have not always produced higher revenues, profits, market share. These are some of the key findings from a new research report: "Sprint Wireless: A Critical Analysis of Key Financial and Market Performance Issues, Challenges and Successes", just published by Alexander Resources, a leading research, consulting and education firm specializing in wireless communications.

The report provides unparalleled insight into the characteristics and nature of Sprint’s wireless business by using innovative analytical tools and metrics such as Correlative Analysis. Among other things, the report examined and analyzed the interrelationships of subscriber growth, composition, and services usage, Net Operating Revenue, Services revenue, COG&S, SG&A, Capex, CPGA, Adjusted EBITDA, ARPU, and Churn in 58 different ways. The report differs from equity or valuation reports as it focuses on how marketplace dynamics affects Sprint’s business and financials rather than how Sprint’s financial performance affects its stock or market value.

Some of the key findings:
  • Sprint’s subscriber base grew 110% but its market share has barely changed since June 2002.
  • Although increasing on a dollar basis, Net Operating Revenue and Services revenues per subscriber have steadily declined.
  • Services revenue dollars have grown 82% but Services revenue per hour of usage has declined.
  • Price erosion and competition has reduced Services revenue by 19%.
  • Data services revenue growth averaged 37% per quarter but Vision subscriber growth rates have begun to decline.
  • Data revenues prevented a decline in total ARPU.
  • Capex management and efficiency has been strong. Capex per subscriber and as a percentage of Net Operating Revenue has declined.
  • Strong overall, Adjusted EBITDA growth rate has recently declined by nearly two-thirds. Adjusted EBITDA per subscriber has declined as well.

About Alexander Resources

Alexander Resources is a leading provider of strategic consulting, educational services, and research reports to the wireless communications industry. Founded in 1990, the company’s clients include over 200 of the world's leading manufacturers and service providers of wireless communications networks, products, and services.

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