January 31, 2019 / 12:38 PM / a year ago

Sprint loses fewer-than expected phone subscribers

Jan 31(Reuters) - U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Corp on Thursday reported fewer-than-expected losses in net new phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill, as it attempts to undermine bigger competitors on prices.

Sprint, which is awaiting regulatory approval for a merger with bigger rival T-Mobile US Inc, said it lost a net 26,000 phone subscribers during the third-quarter ended Dec. 31. Analysts on average had expected a net loss of 32,000 subscribers, according to research firm FactSet.

The company reported net loss attributable of $141 million, or 3 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with a net income of $7.16 billion, or $1.76 per share, a year earlier, when the company benefited from a change in tax laws.

Total net operating revenue rose to $8.60 billion from $8.24 billion. Analysts had expected the company to report revenue of $8.43 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in New York; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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