Sprint Predicts Lower Earnings

Wednesday, September 20th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Sprint Corp. warned Wednesday that third-quarter earnings will miss Wall Street expectations and that its wireless unit would not meet targets for expanding its customer base. The news sent both companies' shares tumbling.

The Westwood, Kan.-based telephone and data services company said it expects third-quarter earnings of 45 cents to 47 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial had expected Sprint's FON Group to earn 49 cents per share.

Though revenue for the quarter is projected to rise about 4 percent, fueled mainly by growth in its data services and bundled service offerings, Sprint said those gains are being partially offset by increased competitive pricing on voice services.

Sprint PCS, the company's separately tracked wireless unit, is now expected to add a net of 800,000 new subscribers in the quarter — below earlier expectations of 900,000 net new subscribers, the company said. Sprint PCS has been dropping non-paying customers at a higher rate and is facing stronger competition in the sector.

The company will report third quarter results Oct. 17.

Shares of Sprint were down $1.50, or 5 percent, to $26.81 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, where shares of Sprint PCS fell $7.81, or 19 percent, to close at $33.