Sprint reports improved cash flow and third-quarter profit

Sprint has announced consolidated earnings for its wireless and fixed telecommunications groups of $519m (£335m) in its third quarter, compared with a loss of $134m (£86m) for the same period last year. Consolidated revenue was $6.79bn (£4.38bn), an increase of 3% from last year's $6.57bn (£4.23bn).

Sprint provides detailed results in separate financial reports for its FON and PCS groups. The Sprint FON group includes the company's long-distance, local telecoms, product distribution and directory publishing businesses. The Sprint PCS group consists of Sprint's wireless operations.

Revenue for the FON group decreased 7% from $4.1bn (£2.6bn) in the third quarter of 2001 to $3.81bn (£2.5bn). Net income for the group was $389m (£251m), up 13% from $345m (£222m) a year earlier. Those numbers exclude one-time items such as restructuring charges and losses related to the WorldCom bankruptcy.

The PCS group reported a third-quarter loss of $7m (£4.5m), compared with a loss of $288m (£186m) a year earlier.

Net operating revenue for the PCS Group increased by 19% to $3.16bn (£2bn), compared with $2.65bn (£1.71bn) a year earlier.

The company trumpeted its improved earnings in what it characterised as a sluggish economy, calling attention to its reduced debt and positive cash flow of $500m (£322m).

Sprint is projecting revenue for the year to decline by approximately 7% for the FON group. Revenue for the PCS group is expected to increase by about 25% over last year, though that group is not expected to report positive earnings for the year.

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