Sprint loses $29.5 billion…sucking sounds continue

Sprint just announced losses of $29.5 billion for the fourth quarter. Read about it here. I wish I could have said I saw this coming but $29.5 is almost too hard to fathom.  (However, note, a large portion of that loss is the write-off related the failed Nextel merger — an almost text-book example of how not to merge two companies). Sprint seems to be falling apart. The stock lost nearly 11% today. I was thinking of shorting the stock but I did not. Bummer…

I have read a lot about Dan Hesse, Sprint’s new CEO. Everything I have read impresses me. I think he has a decent chance of turning the company around if he can only hold the walls together long enough. Moves like Sprint’s $99 truly unlimited plan is a start (although I was hoping for a much cheaper version). However, Sprint is fighting a huge negative wave.

I know a lot of people who hate the service. They either had the service or have heard from others who used to have it. No one ever says anything kind. As a long-time Sprint user, I try to defend the company. I never have dropped calls (except in NYC), can roam on Verizon if I am really pissed, and pay way less. I do try to avoid customer service if at all possible.

For competition sake, I hope Hesse can hold it together until they stop losing customers. Once that happens, they can start to turn the corner. The process is going to be slow and hard. Too many people are too annoyed with the company and would rather pay $10 more a month for another service without the hassles or dropped calls.

How can Sprint turn this around? That is for another post.


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