nsucurrent.com March 24, 2018

Softbank reportedly set to make another pass at a Charter-Sprint union

01 August 2017, 10:54 | Ruby West

The logo of Soft Bank Group Corp is displayed at Soft Bank World 2017 conference in Tokyo Japan

The logo of Soft Bank Group Corp is displayed at Soft Bank World 2017 conference in Tokyo

Charter Communications Inc's shares surged to a record high on Monday after a source said Japan's SoftBank Group Corp was considering an acquisition offer, even as Charter shot down the possibility of it being the acquirer in any merger with SoftBank's US wireless carrier, Sprint Corp.

Most of the rumors around a Sprint merger so far have centered around Charter or T-Mobile US Inc. The new company would then attempt to purchase T-Mobile U.S. Inc., Bloomberg News reported Monday, citing sources close to negotiations.

The Overland Park, Kansas, provider lost a total 39,000 net postpaid customers, or people who pay at the end of the month and are generally considered more valuable customers.

CEO Marcelo Claure credited the company's ongoing cost-cutting initiatives, which have seen Sprint slash spending by almost $4 billion over the last nine quarters.

Financials: Total revenue of $8.16 billion edged past the $8.13 billion predicted by Wells Fargo Securities analysts, and while wireless service revenue was down 6.2% year over year to $5.72 billion, it beat Wells Fargo's estimate of $5.7 billion.

"Sprint continued to make progress on its multiyear plan to transform the way it does business and improve its cost structure", Sprint said Tuesday.

Here's a closer look at some other key metrics from Sprint's quarterly earnings report.

Revenue rose about 2 percent to $8.16 billion, missing the $8.19 billion analysts expected, according to Zacks.

A deal is coming, he promised, adding he was "highly encouraged" by early talks with potential partners.

The cable company serving Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky could get its third owner in two years if Japanese tech giant SoftBank Group Corp. succeeds in buying Charter Communications. Claure said he was "a bit surprised" to see that announcement and that Charter talks were part of a "bigger play". "We've been having a lot of discussions", he said. But striking a deal with a deep-pocketed partner has become much more hard over the last two years as Sprint has seen its stock rise. Sprint also raised its operating income guidance from a prior range of $2.0 billion to $2.5 billion to a new range of $2.1 billion to $2.5 billion.

Sprint shares were up 4% in premarket trading. That's likely due to the loss of tablet customers, as the company added 88,000 net new phone customers.

In a note Tuesday, Cowen said M&A involving Sprint Corp (NYSE: S) is potentially imminent.

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