Sprint Nextel Corp. today reported second quarter 2009 financial results that included consolidated net operating revenues of $8.1 billion, a net loss of $384 million and a diluted loss per share of 13 cents. The company generated Free Cash Flow* of $676 million in the quarter and $1.5 billion in the first half of 2009. As of June 30, 2009, the company had $4.6 billion of cash and cash equivalents and $1.5 billion of borrowing capacity available under its revolving bank credit facility, for a total liquidity of $6.1 billion.“In the second quarter, we made further progress on our efforts to enhance financial stability, improve the customer experience and reinvigorate the brand,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint Nextel CEO. “The widespread visibility surrounding our record-breaking June launch of the Palm Pre handset gave us an unprecedented opportunity to showcase these improvements to customers as ‘a new Sprint.’ They saw a 3G network described by PC World magazine as the most reliable among competitors, key satisfaction and performance metrics in customer care improving for 18 straight months, advertising that won the top international award in Cannes, and a stable balance sheet with 2009 long-term debt maturities paid and enough cash on hand to cover maturities through 2011.
“In the quarter, we saw the best retail net add performance in the past seven quarters. We also saw the best quarterly sequential change in CDMA net add performance in two years, ARPU that has been stable for six consecutive quarters, continued prepaid growth, and improved sequential Adjusted Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization* (Adjusted OIBDA),” Hesse said. “However, we are not satisfied that we lost a quarter of a million customers in the quarter.”Sprint also built on its history of innovation in the second quarter, with the launch of MiFi cards and continued growth in its award-winning Unified Communications solution for business mobility. Additionally, the company prepared for the August launch of 4G service in Las Vegas, Atlanta and Portland, with at least six more markets in its national network expected to follow in 2009, and announced the July launch of the Blackberry® Tour™ world phone.
TABLE NO. 1 Selected Unaudited Financial Data (dollars in millions, except per share data) Quarter Ended Year To Date June 30, June 30, % June 30, June 30, % Financial Data 2009
Net operating revenues $ 8,141 $ 9,055 (10) % $ 16,350 $ 18,389 (11) % Adjusted OIBDA* 1,769 2,096 (16) % 3,492 4,105 (15) % Adjusted OIBDA margin* 23.1% 24.4% 22.7% 23.7% Net loss (384) (344) (12) % (978) (849) (15) % Diluted loss per common share $ (0.13) $ (0.12) (8) % $ (0.34) $ (0.30) (13) % Capital Expenditures (1) $ 321 $ 646 (50) % $ 612 $ 2,006 (69) % Free cash flow* $ 676 $ 11 NM $ 1,472 $ 181
NM – Not Meaningful
- Consolidated net operating revenues of $8.1 billion for the quarter were 1% lower than the first quarter of 2009 and 10% lower than in the second quarter of 2008. The year-over-year decline is primarily due to a lower contribution from post-paid wireless service and lower wireline voice and legacy data revenues, partially offset by an increase in prepaid revenues.
- Adjusted OIBDA* was $1.8 billion for the quarter, compared to $1.7 billion for the first quarter of 2009 and $2.1 billion for the second quarter of 2008. Sequentially, Adjusted OIBDA* improved as continued improvement in SG&A expenses offset the decline in net operating revenues. Included in second quarter 2008 Adjusted OIBDA* is approximately $75 million in non-recurring operating expenses associated with the company’s WiMAX efforts prior to the closing of the Clearwire transaction in 2008.
- Capital expenditures were $321 million in the quarter, compared to $291 million in the first quarter of 2009 and $646 million in the second quarter of 2008. Included in second quarter 2008 capital expenditures is approximately $100 million in non-recurring capital expenditures related to the deployment of WiMAX prior to the closing of the Clearwire transaction.
- Free Cash Flow* was $676 million for the quarter, compared to $796 million for the first quarter of 2009 and $11 million for the second quarter of 2008. The year-over-year improvement reflects our improved cash from operating activities, primarily resulting from reduced operating costs and a decrease in capital expenditures.
- Net Debt* decreased by approximately $700 million from the end of the first quarter, to $16.4 billion.
TABLE NO. 2 Selected Unaudited Financial Data (dollars in millions)
Quarter Ended Year To Date June 30, June 30, % June 30, June 30, % Financial Data 2009 2008
Net operating revenues $ 7,004 $ 7,736 (9) % $ 14,039 $ 15,699 (11) % Adjusted OIBDA* 1,413 1,868 (24) % 2,862 3,669 (22) % Adjusted OIBDA margin* 21.7% 25.7% 21.9% 25.1% Capital Expenditures (1) $ 227 $ 393 (42) % $ 424 $ 1,311 (68) %
- The company served 48.8 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2009, compared to 49.1 million at the end of the first quarter of 2009. This includes 34.4 million post-paid subscribers (25.1 million on CDMA, 8.3 million on iDEN, and 1.0 million Power Source users who utilize both networks), 5.0 million prepaid subscribers (4.4 million on iDEN and 600,000 on CDMA) and 9.3 million wholesale and affiliate subscribers, all of whom utilize our CDMA network.
- For the quarter, total wireless customers declined by approximately 257,000, including net losses of 991,000 post-paid customers – comprising 393,000 CDMA and 598,000 iDEN customers (including a net 69,000 customers who transferred from the iDEN network to the CDMA network). The company gained a net 938,000 prepaid iDEN customers, offset by net losses of 161,000 prepaid CDMA customers. The company also experienced a net loss of 43,000 wholesale and affiliate subscribers.
- The credit quality of our post-paid customer base improved sequentially from approximately 84% at the end of the first quarter of 2009 to almost 85% prime, compared to 82% at the end of the second quarter of 2008.
- Approximately 9% of post-paid customers upgraded their handsets during the second quarter, a slight increase sequentially, resulting in increased contract renewals.
- In the second quarter, the company added to its device and service capabilities with the launch of the award winning Palm® Pre™, Samsung Instinct® s30™, and the colorful SCP-2700™ by Sanyo®, all exclusively from Sprint. The company also added the Novatel® Wireless MiFi 2200 intelligent mobile hotspot device, Samsung® Exclaim™, HTC Snap™, and CapTel® 800i™ – the next generation CapTel® phone for deaf and hard-of-hearing users – to its device portfolio, and is the network provider for Amazon’s Kindle and Kindle DX. In addition, Sprint launched the BlackBerry® Tour™ 9630 Global Smartphone in July.
- Post-paid churn in the quarter was 2.05% compared to 2.25% in the first quarter and 1.98% in the year-ago period. The sequential decrease is due to seasonality, along with improved credit quality of our customer base and better retention performance; and the year-over-year increase in churn is primarily driven by deactivations on business lines due to current economic conditions.
- Boost churn in the second quarter of 2009 was 6.38%, compared to 6.86% in the first quarter of 2009 and 7.36% in the year-ago period. The sequential and year-over-year improvement in churn are due to fewer deactivations and a larger subscriber base of national Boost Monthly Unlimited subscribers.
Wireless Service Revenues
- Wireless service revenues for the quarter were flat sequentially at $6.4 billion as revenue growth from Boost Monthly Unlimited subscribers offset revenue declines from post-paid subscribers. Year-over-year, wireless service revenues declined 9% as a result of fewer wireless subscribers.
- Wireless post-paid ARPU has been stable for the past six quarters at around $56 primarily due to continued growth in fixed-rate bundled plans such as Simply Everything, offset by declines in usage and roaming. As a result of the company’s focus on improving the customer experience and 18 consecutive months of improvement in customer care satisfaction, post-paid ARPU benefited from reduced credits to customer bills.
- Data revenues contributed greater than $15.50 to overall post-paid ARPU in the second quarter, led by growth in CDMA data ARPU. CDMA data ARPU increased more than 3% from the first quarter of 2009, to greater than $18.50, an industry-best that now represents greater than 32% of total CDMA ARPU.
- Prepaid ARPU in the quarter was approximately $34 compared to $31 in the first quarter of 2009, and $30 in the year-ago period. The sequential and year-over-year increases reflect a growing contribution from prepaid subscribers on unlimited plans.
- Wholesale, affiliate and other revenues were down 13% sequentially and down 44% compared to the year-ago period. The sequential and year-over-year decline is primarily due to subscriber losses from one of our large carrier customers.
Wireless Operating Expenses and Adjusted OIBDA*
- Total operating expenses, after normalizing for special items, were $7.3 billion in the second quarter, compared to $7.3 billion in the first quarter of 2009 and $7.9 billion in the year-ago period.
- Adjusted OIBDA* of $1.4 billion in the second quarter of 2009 compares to $1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2009 and $1.9 billion in the second quarter of 2008. Sequentially, Adjusted OIBDA* was flat as the improvement in SG&A expenses offset the revenue decline. The year-over-year decline in Adjusted OIBDA* was primarily due to fewer wireless subscribers, offset by an improvement of $350 million in SG&A expenses.
- Equipment subsidy was almost $850 million (equipment revenue of approximately $500 million, less cost of products of $1.34 billion) as compared to almost $850 million in the first quarter of 2009 and about $700 million a year ago. The year-over-year increase in subsidy is primarily due to the increase in the number and timing of prepaid handsets shipped as a result of the national Boost Monthly Unlimited offer, and the increase in average cost per handset sold as the company continues to sell a greater number of higher-functionality handsets.
- SG&A expenses declined 4% sequentially from the first quarter of 2009 and 14% year-over-year from the second quarter of 2008. On a sequential basis, the decline reflects lower marketing and customer care expenses. The year-over-year improvement is due to lower selling, bad debt, customer care and labor expenses.
Wireless Capital Spending
Wireless capital expenditures were $227 million in the second quarter of 2009, compared to almost $200 million in the first quarter of 2009 and almost $400 million spent in the second quarter of 2008. The year-over-year decrease in wireless capital spending reflects reduced capacity needs due to fewer subscribers. The company continues to invest capital in the quality and performance of its networks. At the end of the second quarter of 2009, Sprint’s networks continue to operate at best-ever levels and, according to third-party data, Sprint has the most dependable+ 3G network in the country.
TABLE NO. 3 Selected Unaudited Financial Data (dollars in millions) Quarter Ended Year To Date June 30, June 30, % June 30, June 30, % Financial Data 2009 2008
Net operating revenues $ 1,428 $ 1,605 (11) % $ 2,893 $ 3,235 (11) % Adjusted OIBDA* 352 299 18 % 638 586 9 % Adjusted OIBDA margin* 24.6% 18.6% 22.1% 18.1% Capital Expenditures (1) $ 47 $ 113 (58) % $ 124 $ 261 (52) %
- Wireline revenues of $1.4 billion for the quarter were 3% lower sequentially and 11% lower year-over-year as legacy voice and data declines offset Internet revenue growth.
- Internet revenues for the second quarter of 2009 increased 1% sequentially and 10% from the year-ago period. The year-over-year increase reflects strong enterprise demand for Global MPLS services and the increased base of cable subscribers who utilize our VoIP services. In the quarter, Sprint was recognized with the Global Telecom Innovation Award for its Unified Communications solution for business mobility.
- Internet revenues as a percent of wireline revenue have increased from 33% in the second quarter of 2008 to 41% in the second quarter of 2009. At the end of the second quarter of 2009, the company supported approximately 4.7 million users of cable partner VoIP services. These services are currently available to almost 31 million MSO households.
- Legacy voice revenues for the quarter declined 2% sequentially and 18% year-over-year.
- Legacy data revenues are impacted in part by customer transitions to IP services. These legacy services declined 14% sequentially and 32% compared to the second quarter of 2008.
- Adjusted OIBDA* was $352 million compared to $286 million reported for the first quarter of 2009 and $299 million in the second quarter of 2008. Total operating expenses, after normalizing for special items, were $1.2 billion in the second quarter, 7% lower sequentially and 15% lower year-over-year. The sequential and year-over-year improvements are due to the declines in costs of service and improvement in SG&A expenses.
- Wireline capital expenditures were $47 million in the second quarter of 2009, compared to $77 million in the first quarter of 2009 and $113 million in the second quarter of 2008. The company made significant capital investments in prior years to build out its IP network, and less capital was required sequentially and year-over-year as the pace of our IP growth rate has slowed.
Sprint Nextel continues to expect that both post-paid and total subscriber full-year losses should improve in 2009 as compared to 2008. In addition, the company expects that full-year capital expenditures in 2009 will be less than 2008 levels, excluding WiMAX. The company expects to continue to generate positive Free Cash Flow* during the remainder of 2009.
Sprint Nextel provides financial measures determined in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP) and adjusted GAAP (non-GAAP). The non-GAAP financial measures reflect industry conventions, or standard measures of liquidity, profitability or performance commonly used by the investment community for comparability purposes. These measurements should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute for, financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. We have defined below each of the non-GAAP measures we use, but these measures may not be synonymous to similar measurement terms used by other companies.
Sprint Nextel provides reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures in its financial reporting. Because Sprint Nextel does not predict special items that might occur in the future, and our forecasts are developed at a level of detail different than that used to prepare GAAP-based financial measures, Sprint Nextel does not provide reconciliations to GAAP of its forward-looking financial measures.
The measures used in this release include the following:
OIBDA is operating income/(loss) before depreciation, amortization, asset impairments and abandonments. Adjusted OIBDA is OIBDA excluding severance, exit costs, and other special items. Adjusted OIBDA Margin represents Adjusted OIBDA divided by non-equipment net operating revenues adjusted for certain non-recurring revenue adjustments for Wireless and Adjusted OIBDA divided by net operating revenues for Wireline. We believe that Adjusted OIBDA and Adjusted OIBDA Margin provide useful information to investors because they are an indicator of the strength and performance of our ongoing business operations, including our ability to fund discretionary spending such as capital expenditures, spectrum acquisitions and other investments and our ability to incur and service debt. While depreciation and amortization are considered operating costs under GAAP, these expenses primarily represent non-cash current period costs associated with the use of long-lived tangible and intangible assets. Adjusted OIBDA and Adjusted OIBDA margin are calculations commonly used as a basis for investors, analysts and credit rating agencies to evaluate and compare the periodic and future operating performance and value of companies within the telecommunications industry.
Free Cash Flow is the change in cash and cash equivalents less the change in debt, investment in certain securities, proceeds from common stock and other financing activities, net. We believe that Free Cash Flow provides useful information to investors, analysts and our management about the cash generated by our core operations after interest and dividends and our ability to fund scheduled debt maturities and other financing activities, including discretionary refinancing and retirement of debt and purchase or sale of investments.