January 27, 2020 / 1:19 PM / 2 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Sprint posts smaller-than-expected subscriber loss on cheaper plans

(Corrects paragraph 7 to say revenue missed estimates, not beat)

Jan 27 (Reuters) - Sprint Corp said on Monday it lost fewer than expected mobile phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill in the third quarter, benefiting from cheaper plans ahead of a merger with larger rival T-Mobile US.

The company said it lost 115,000 postpaid phone subscribers during the quarter ended Dec 31. Analysts were expecting a net loss of 160,000 subscribers, according to research firm FactSet.

Sprint, the fourth largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers, is facing a multi-state lawsuit against its $26-billion proposed merger with larger rival T-Mobile US Inc .

T-Mobile and Sprint have said the merger will not lead to higher prices for consumers and would allow it to compete effectively with dominant carriers Verizon Communications Inc <VZ.N and AT&T Inc.

Net loss attributable to the company fell to $120 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from $141 million a year earlier.

On a per share basis, the company reported a loss of 3 cents per share, unchanged from a year earlier.

Total net operating revenue fell 6.1% to $8.08 billion, missing analysts' estimate of $8.22 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Shares of the company were marginally up at $4.84 in trading before the bell. (Reporting by Neha Malara in Bengaluru' Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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