Sprint Nextel Corp. just missed Wall Street estimates Thursday as subscriber numbers showed it has fallen farther behind in the wireless market.
The company reported earnings of $247 million, or 8 cents per share, down 52 percent from $514 million, or 23 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.
Sprint said it earned 32 cents per share in the most recent quarter. That was a penny short of the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.
Revenues for the quarter increased 34.6 percent to $10.5 billion from $7.8 billion during the same quarter a year ago. Analysts had expected revenues of $10.48 billion.
But the struggling company's ability to largely meet diminished expectations was enough to encourage investors, who boosted the company's stock price 6.7 percent, up $1.18 per share to $18.90.
The Reston, Va.-based company, with operational headquarters in Overland Park, said its overall customer base grew by just 233,000 customers to 51.9 million, but it lost 188,000 postpaid subscribers, who are the most profitable customers.
The number of added subscribers is far fewer than the 1.4 million reported earlier by competitor Cingular Wireless and the large jump expected from Verizon Wireless.