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Sprint posts smaller 4th-qtr loss as number of subscribers continues to grow

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Sprint Corp., the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, said Tuesday its fourth-quarter loss shrunk, helped by the addition of more wireless devices to its network.

Sprint said it added a net 477,000 wireless devices during the quarter, while in the year-ago quarter it lost a net 337,000 devices. Excluding its Nextel platform, which the company shut off last year, the company added a net 682,000 devices to its Sprint platform, flat with the 683,000 it added in the fourth quarter of 2012.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Sprint posted a loss of $1.04 billion, or 26 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.32 billion, or 44 cents per share, in the same quarter the year before. Revenue rose 2 per cent to $9.14 billion from $9.01 billion.

Those results beat Wall Street predictions. Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 35 cents per share on $8.98 billion in revenue.

Japanese investment firm SoftBank Corp. acquired a majority stake in Sprint in July. This was the company's third quarterly report since the deal closed.

For the full year 2013, Sprint posted a loss of $1.86 billion, or 54 cents per share, compared with $4.33 billion, or $1.44 per share, in 2012. Revenue fell to $16.89 billion from $35.35 billion.

Sprint shares rose 54 cents, or 7 per cent, to $8.23 in morning trading Tuesday. Its shares are little changed from a year ago.

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