Sprint Nextel Corp. today reported first quarter 2009 financial results. The company reported consolidated net operating revenues of $8.2 billion and a diluted loss per share of 21 cents. Here are some highlights of Sprint Wireless customers, churns and service revenues:
* The company served 49.1 million customers at the end of the quarter, compared to 49.3 million at the end of 2008. This includes 35.4 million post-paid subscribers (25.3 million on CDMA, 8.9 million on iDEN, and 1.2 million Power Source users who utilize both networks), 4.3 million prepaid subscribers (3.5 million on iDEN and 800,000 on CDMA) and 9.4 million wholesale and affiliate subscribers, all of whom utilize our CDMA network.
* For the quarter, total wireless customers declined by approximately 182,000, including net losses of 1.25 million post-paid customers ? comprising 531,000 CDMA and 719,000 iDEN customers (including a net 94,000 customers who transferred from the iDEN network to the CDMA network). The company also lost 90,000 prepaid CDMA customers. The company gained a net 764,000 prepaid iDEN customers and 394,000 wholesale and affiliate subscribers. The company achieved total subscriber growth on the iDEN network.
* The sequential decline in total subscribers improved by more than 1 million. Subscriber growth in wholesale was primarily driven by the increasing market opportunity for open network devices, such as the Amazon Kindle 2, that extend broadband wireless connectivity to a variety of electronic applications.
* The credit quality of our post-paid customer base remained at approximately 84% prime, compared to 81% a year ago.
* About 8.6% of post-paid customers upgraded their handsets during the first quarter, resulting in increased contract renewals.
* In the first quarter, the company added to its device and service capabilities with the launch of the Treo Pro, LG Rumor2, the next generation of LG Rumor, and the Sierra Wireless 598U, providing customers a dependable connection on Sprint?s Mobile Broadband Network. Additionally, the company launched the Motorola Stature i9 - the newest Nextel Direct Connect-capable device available to both prepaid and post-paid customers.
* In addition to the planned launch of the Palm Pre in the first half of 2009, Sprint in April launched the Samsung Instinct s30, the AirCard 402 by Sierra Wireless and the Sanyo SCP-2700. The company plans to launch a total of seven new Nextel Direct Connect handsets as part of its new device portfolio in 2009, with most launching during the first half of the year.
* Post-paid churn was 2.25% compared to 2.16% in the fourth quarter and 2.45% in the year-ago period. The sequential increase in churn is primarily driven by deactivations on business lines, made worse by current economic conditions, and the year-over-year decrease is due to the improvement in the credit quality of our customer base and was achieved in spite of a reduction in customer credits.
* Boost churn in the first quarter was 6.86%, compared to 8.20% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 9.93% in the year-ago period. The year-over-year improvement in churn is due to fewer deactivations, and the sequential improvement is due to fewer deactivations and a slightly larger subscriber base as a result of the national Boost Monthly Unlimited offer.
* Wireless service revenues for the quarter of $6.4 billion declined 10% year-over-year and 2% sequentially. The year-over-year decline and the sequential decline were due primarily to fewer wireless subscribers.
* Wireless post-paid ARPU in the quarter was stable sequentially and year-over-year at $56, primarily due to growth in fixed-rate bundled plans such as Simply Everything, offset by seasonal declines in usage.
* Data revenues contributed greater than $15 to overall post-paid ARPU in the first quarter, led by growth in CDMA data ARPU. CDMA data ARPU increased about 5% from the fourth quarter, to greater than $18, an industry-best that now represents more than 31% of total CDMA ARPU.
* Prepaid ARPU in the quarter was approximately $31 compared to $29 in the year-ago period and $30 in the fourth quarter of 2008. The year-over-year and sequential increases reflect a growing contribution from prepaid subscribers on unlimited plans.
* Wholesale, affiliate, and other revenues were down sequentially and as compared to the year-ago period. Although the company experienced strong growth in the total wholesale subscriber base, most of the growth was in services with lower revenue per subscriber, minimal acquisition costs and no subsidy expenses.