Clearwire Losses Narrow — a Little


Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ: CLWR) reported third quarter 2012 results after markets closed today. For the quarter, the wireless carrier posted a diluted earnings per share (EPS) loss of $0.22 on revenues of $313.9 million. In the same period a year ago, the company reported an EPS loss of $0.53 on revenues of $332.2 million. Third-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for an EPS loss of $0.27 and $312.13 million in revenues.

The company's CEO noted:

Recent developments in the U.S. wireless industry serve as a direct reminder of the key strategic role deep spectrum resources and a global LTE ecosystem will play in the long-term success of any 4G mobile broadband operator. Clearwire's unmatched spectrum assets and focus on serving major population centers will be the foundation on which we will build a critical 4G LTE network positioned to serve the needs of the industry and the rapidly growing base of 4G customers across the country.

Those "recent developments," of course, are the acquisition by Japan's SoftBank of a majority stake in Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) and the acquisition by Sprint of just enough Clearwire stock to give Sprint a majority ownership stake in the wireless carrier.

Clearwire guided full-year revenue to $1.2 to $1.3 billion and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $150 to $200 million, which is slightly better than the previous guidance calling for a loss of $175 to $225 million. Consensus estimates call for full-year revenue of $1.28 billion and an EPS loss of $1.18.

One bit of good news for the company was that its costs per subscriber additions fell from $288 per subscriber in the same quarter last year, to $191 this year. Sequentially costs per gross addition fell from $226 in the second quarter. Clearwire attributed that to its no-contract offering, which also drove the company's churn rate to 5.1% in the third quarter, up 4.2% sequentially.

Clearwire's shares are down about 0.6% in after-hours trading, at $1.79, in a 52-week range of $0.83 to $2.96. The consensus target price for the shares was around $2.65 before today's report.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, Internet, Services, WiMAX, Wireless Tagged: CLWR, S