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Sprint's response to the "bankruptcy risk" remarks by Bernstein


Duffman
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  • The financial markets crave short-term certainty for investors, but customers value long-term investments in innovation.
  • We hold a strong position in the market due to our unlimited data pricing, our portfolio of innovative devices and services, and our strong position in the growing prepaid segment.

 

Launch of the iPhone

  • With the iPhone, Sprint now has arguably one of the best lineups of devices, as well as unlimited pricing plans that give Sprint true competitive differentiation.
  • 1.8 million iPhone sales, 40% of which were to new customers, confirm the iPhone's ability to attract new customers

 

Network Vision on schedule and on budget

  • Network Vision is a central component of our efforts to improve both our customer experience and expand our operating margins.
  • With Sprint's Network Vision we'll migrate customers to one network, improve our 3G coverage/capacity, and introduce 4G LTE service and devices on our own network.

 

Improved customer experience

  • Our customer experience has improved, according to improved internal metrics, external survey results, and awards.
  • Last year we added more than five million total customers and recorded the highest number of customers in the company's history.

 

Confidence in Sprint

  • Sprint successfully sold $2 billion in bonds that will help us meet the funding needs for our business as we move forward with Network Vision and the launch of the iPhone.
  • This sale demonstrated the financial community's confidence in Sprint's long-term viability.
  • Last fall, Sprint also raised $4 billion in cash, a major achievement in light of the volatility in the market at the time.

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Just read a "positive Sprint" article on Seeking Alpha addressing Bernstein's comments. http://seekingalpha.com/article/448061-recent-sprint-downgrade-is-unjustified

 

Contributing author Value Seeker wrote:

In summary, I believe that the Sanford report doesn't seem to bring forward much new information, but rather reiterates many of the existing bearish arguments, while pointing to credit spreads as confirmation of their concerns.

 

It is a good perspective from someone who is bullish on Sprint and downplays a lot of the risks that Bernstein quoted when downgrading the Sprint stock.

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"I believe that the debt is manageable and I also feel that the execution risks have reduced (not increased, as maintained by Sanford) over the past year. Among other positive developments for Sprint over the past year, the company has refinanced their medium-term maturities, progressed with their "network vision" initiatives, and secured the iPhone (which also brings additional risks, but is a considerable overall positive for the company, in my opinion).

I also see the asset value of Sprint's network, spectrum, subscriber base, and operational infrastructure, as substantially above the levels of Sprint's net debt. As a result, I believe that if Sprint stumbles in its turnaround, and its equity value falls too far, another company will step in and acquire this valuable business (in an industry for which the barriers to entry by other means are massive). For these reasons, I see the likelihood of a Sprint bankruptcy as small and overstated by current debt and equity prices."

(I was thinking along the same lines myself.)

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Network Vision on schedule and on budget

  • Network Vision is a central component of our efforts to improve both our customer experience and expand our operating margins.
  • With Sprint's Network Vision we'll migrate customers to one network, improve our 3G coverage/capacity, and introduce 4G LTE service and devices on our own network.

It's nice to hear that they are on budget with this whole project. I hope they continue that way and even come in under budget. That would be even better.

 

Thanks for posting Duffman

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Was this on the Sprint website? Or???

 

Very interesting that they actually dignified his "foot in mouth disease" with a response.

 

This was just something sent out internally, though not marked confidential, in case we get questions. I stripped everything other than the points it makes.

 

Have not seen a press release though.

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This was just something sent out internally, though not marked confidential, in case we get questions. I stripped everything other than the points it makes.

 

Have not seen a press release though.

 

Thanks for sharing.

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My biggest worry about Sprint is keeping existing customers happy that they already have.

Let me give you an example:

One of the biggest complaints we hear (on this website and on practically every other Sprint website out there, including their own site) is slow data speeds. While Sprint has done many "band aid" fixes across the US in cities/towns these fixes have only provided temporary relief (in most cases) and as a result, customers in these areas must now wait for Network Vision to see true 3G data speed improvements. Many friends in Oklahoma City on Sprint have been complaining about how terrible the data speeds have become during the past 6 months: while there were some minor improvements thanks to the aforementioned band aid fixes, overall things have once more degraded in many areas to the point that data is almost not usable at all now (with data speeds often barely reaching dial up levels). And we all know from posts here and elsewhere this is something going on in many areas of the USWhile Network Vision is being rolled out and on schedule across the US, many markets (including Oklahoma City) will likely not see Network Vision until sometime in 2013-over a year away at this point. I really have to wonder how many people will drop the service and go with a competitor simply because they really cannot use their phones. 12-16 months is an awfully long time to ask someone to wait who is paying a large sum of money each month to their provider, when there are so many competitors out there which offer faster data speeds.

I'm playing devil's advocate here, since I personally do not plan on leaving Sprint (thanks to my Advantage Club plan pricing I pay) but I have to say if I were paying the regular retail price for service, I really would seriously consider jumping ship-I simply could not justify paying $70+ per line per month for data services that seldom reach higher than 200kbp/s (and that's in the middle of the night) and no 4G to fall back I'm just afraid Sprint will lose a ton of customers over the course of the next 12-18 months that don't want to wait around for the promised upgrades.

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You've hit it right on Jeff. I had to leave, even after 10 years with sprint. My data speeds forced me out, not to mention the erosion of benefits and nickel and diming bringing my monthly bill on par with Verizon

That said, I will gladly go back to sprint when the network is back to what it was 3 years ago. Im not trashing sprint and they offer exceptional value by offering unlimited data. I also am worried what their churn numbers will look like this quarter.

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You hit the nail on the head, Jeff. I was with Sprint from October 2002 until February 2012. I put up with 22 months of sub-20kbps daytime data speeds and no 4G. I filed trouble ticket after trouble ticket, emailed Dan's office (executive care group) and spoke with them numerous times... hell, I had the TRV escalations direct dial number in my phone. 1 or 2 small bandaids and now, almost 2 yrs later, the speeds are still below dial-up-- unusable data all over the city. I was paying $81 a month for what was basically useless. Now with Verizon, I have basically the same plan (including AMAT), pay $8 / mo more with taxes and my speeds are over 1000x faster and consistent.... the data is ALWAYS usable. When the EVOs start coming off contract in June, Sprint is in trouble in many areas.

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There are some areas in the country where Sprint is downright poor. I think that they will have some problems keeping subscribers in those places.

 

However, performance at Network Vision sites is sounding very good. I just got two reports from S4GRU readers that a site in New Bedford Mass that used to be poor is now humming above 1.6Mbps since NV completed on it a few weeks ago and sub 100ms pings. :fingers:

 

I do think Q1 subscriber numbers could be an issue, as not many people want WiMax units at this point and we are in the middle of device famine. But this ends on 4/15. 2Q will probably shift that.

 

Robert, Roberto, Admin, Hey You! Its all good! But this was posted from my E4GT with ICS using Forum Runner

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There are some areas in the country where Sprint is downright poor. I think that they will have some problems keeping subscribers in those places.

 

However, performance at Network Vision sites is sounding very good. I just got two reports from S4GRU readers that a site in New Bedford Mass that used to be poor is now humming above 1.6Mbps since NV completed on it a few weeks ago and sub 100ms pings. :fingers:

 

I do think Q1 subscriber numbers could be an issue, as not many people want WiMax units at this point and we are in the middle of device famine. But this ends on 4/15. 2Q will probably shift that.

 

Robert, Roberto, Admin, Hey You! Its all good! But this was posted from my E4GT with ICS using Forum Runner

 

whoop whoop! this is great news!!

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lol I should have checked first. I've been away taking care of a family member in the hospital and when I get in to catch up on the forums I just start posting.

 

TS

 

Oh, no. It's fine to have it in multiple places. I was just quoting the old "great minds think alike" saying.

 

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk

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