Sprint: Palm Pre, Unlimited Plans Fail to Help Earnings

Carrying the Palm Pre and offering unlimited voice and data plans hasn’t helped Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) at all.

The nation’s third-largest wireless carrier on Thursday reported yet another quarter of losses – wider than the losses of the year-ago and second-quarter 2009 periods.

Sprint reported $478 million in losses, compared to $326 million a year earlier and $384 million for the three months ending June 30, 2009. The results included $15 million in severance expenses, $97 million in equity losses from the Clearwire Corp. (CLWR) mobile broadband partnership, and $53 million in gains from spectrum exchanges and access-charge agreements, Sprint said.

Revenue dropped, too, from $8.8 billion to $8.04 billion. Wall Street analysts had forecast sales of $8.09 billion.

The most notable declines came in the postpaid sector. Sprint lost 801,000 of those valuable subscribers, who agree to annual contracts and tend to spend more on services than their prepaid counterparts. More customers defected from Sprint in the third quarter than in the previous one; however, the losses were better than a year earlier when 1.3 million users left the company.

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