Losses at Sprint, the fourth largest US mobile network, have widened over the last quarter despite adding more customers than it has for nine years.
Sprint, 80 per cent owned by Japan’s SoftBank, reported a net loss of $302m (£229m), or eight cents per share, in the first quarter ended 30 June, from $20m the year before. Net operating revenue fell marginally to $8.01bn, from $8.03bn. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting revenue of $7.98bn.
Shares in the company skyrocketed in New York, up by almost 30 per cent in late afternoon trading in New York as investors cheered what looks like the beginning of a turnaround for the company.
“We believe the turnaround story is taking shape,” Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche said in a client note.
SoftBank last week made a move to acquire the UK chip designer Arm Holdings, raising fears it was turning its attention away from the US carrier.
The teleco has been heavily discounting its products to try and attract new customers. It added 173,000 subscribers in its first three months of the year compared with a net loss of 12,000 subscribers in the same period last year.
Sprint also had the lowest subscriber churn in its history, with the rate at which customers switched to other networks falling to 1.39 per cent.