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    9984   JP3436100006

SOFTBANK GROUP CORP.

(9984)
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Sprint's subscriber losses fall as fewer defect, tablet sales rise

04/29/2014 | 10:27am EDT
Sprint's Spark technology capable of 1 Gbps download is displayed during tour of Sprint's laboratory in Burlingame

(Reuters) - Sprint Corp, the No. 3 U.S. mobile provider on Tuesday reported fewer subscribers leaving than expected and strong tablet additions, as the company undergoes a massive network overhaul in a highly competitive market.

Sprint shares were up 7 percent, as the company cut costs to offset subscriber losses due to a network overhaul and competitor price cuts.

"Network is obviously a crucial foundation for being competitive," Sprint's chief executive, Dan Hesse told analysts in a post-earnings call.

"We are beginning to see churn improvements after a few months but it takes longer to see improvements in gross adds," he said.

The company, 80 percent owned by Japan's SoftBank Corp, said it lost 231,000 net postpaid subscribers in the first quarter, compared with Wall Street estimates of 244,000 losses. Yet excluding 516,000 tablet additions, handset additions were the worst in five years.

"Handsets have a higher lifetime value than tablets, so if they continue to lose handset subscriptions, it will have a higher value impact in the long term," said Felix Wai, an analyst at New Street Research.

The company reported an increase in quarterly revenue in line with analysts' expectations, due to a new billing plan that lowered wireless expenses.

In January, Sprint unveiled a new billing option called the "framily" plan that gives up to 10 family members or friends big service discounts if they sign up as a group, following aggressive discounts by Sprint's smaller rival T-Mobile US that sparked a new wave of competition.

The plan requires each customer to pay for his own cellphone, whether with a one-time payment or on an installment plan, saving Sprint money on phone subsidies.

Sprint has attempted to convince U.S. regulators that consolidation in the industry would allow for greater competition against the two top players, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc.

The company is eyeing T-mobile as an acquisition target.

"If you really want effective competition you have to level the playing field, you have to get players of same elk. That's the benefit of consolidation, "Joe Euteneuer, Sprint's chief financial officer told Reuters.

Its quarterly adjusted net income loss narrowed to $151 million, or 0.04 cents per share, in the first quarter, from $643 million, or 21 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue rose to $8.88 billion from $8.8 billion, matching the average analyst estimate according to Thomson Reuters

I/B/E/S.

Wireless customer defections, known in the industry as churn, increased slightly from a year ago, as the company continues an overhaul of its 3G and voice network, which is expected to be completed by mid-year.

(Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

By Marina Lopes


ę Reuters 2014
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AT&T INC. -0.67% 28.01 Delayed Quote.-2.61%
RISE, INC. 8.00% 27 End-of-day quote.12.50%
SOFTBANK CORP. -0.92% 1456 End-of-day quote.12.61%
SOFTBANK GROUP CORP. -4.84% 6745 End-of-day quote.-16.29%
SPRINT CORPORATION 0.00%End-of-day quote.0.00%
VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS -0.85% 55.72 Delayed Quote.-4.34%
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Financials
Sales 2022 5 953 B 54 205 M 54 205 M
Net income 2022 1 045 B 9 517 M 9 517 M
Net Debt 2022 13 879 B 126 B 126 B
P/E ratio 2022 12,2x
Yield 2022 0,67%
Capitalization 11 554 B 105 B 105 B
EV / Sales 2022 4,27x
EV / Sales 2023 4,12x
Nbr of Employees 58 786
Free-Float 47,1%
Chart SOFTBANK GROUP CORP.
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SoftBank Group Corp. Technical Analysis Chart | 9984 | JP3436100006 | MarketScreener
Technical analysis trends SOFTBANK GROUP CORP.
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TrendsBearishBearishNeutral
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 15
Last Close Price 6 745,00 JPY
Average target price 11 321,71 JPY
Spread / Average Target 67,9%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Masayoshi Son Chairman & Executive President
Yoshimitsu Goto CFO, Director & Senior Managing Executive Officer
Raul Marcelo Claure Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President
Tim Mackey Chief Legal Officer & Group Compliance Officer
Masami Iijima Independent Outside Director
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