Sprint's loss narrows as company adds phone subscribers

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[May 03, 2017]  By Anjali Athavaley

(Reuters) - Sprint Corp said on Wednesday that it narrowed its quarterly loss as the No. 4 U.S. wireless carrier cut costs as part of its turnaround plan and added phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill.

The logo of U.S. mobile network operator Sprint Corp is seen at a Sprint store in San Marcos, California August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Shares rose 3.6 percent to $9.40 in pre-market trading on Wednesday.

The company, majority owned by Japan's SoftBank Corp <9984.T>, said its net loss narrowed to $283 million, or 7 cents per share in the fourth quarter ended March 31, from $554 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier.

Net operating revenue rose 5.8 percent to $8.54 billion.

Sprint said it added 42,000 phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill in the quarter.

The company is likely to face questions from industry analysts over merger prospects on its post-earnings conference call.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) barred merger talks among telecommunications companies for over a year as it conducted a $19.8 billion auction of airwaves from broadcasters for wireless use.

Sprint was not in the auction but could not talk to companies that were. Now that the quiet period mandated by the FCC is over, it can have such discussions.

(Additional reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Chizu Nomiyama)

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