Ina Fried

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Sprint: 1.5 Million iPhones Sold, $8.8 Billion Revenue, $29 Million in Operating Income

Wireless carrier Sprint, which is currently the object of affection from both SoftBank and Dish Network, on Wednesday reported $29 million in quarterly operating profit on revenue of $8.8 billion.


That compares to an operating loss of $255 million in the year-ago quarter on a roughly similar revenue base. The company reported a net loss of $643 million, or 21 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $863 million, or 29 cents per share in the first quarter of 2012.

The No. 3 U.S. carrier said that 86 percent of Sprint-branded phone sales were smartphones, and said it tallied more than five million smartphone sales, including 1.5 million iPhones during the quarter.

“This is a transformative year for Sprint, and we’ve gotten off to a good start,” Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement.

Sprint, which announced its plans to sell a majority stake to SoftBank, has said it will evaluate the recent offer from Dish, while SoftBank says it still hopes to complete the Sprint deal by July.

Update: In a conference call with investors, Hesse noted that the pending and potential deals make this an exciting time, but added, “We haven’t taken our eye off of operations.”

The company remains on track to shut down its Nextel network by June 30, with plans to start deploying LTE service on that 800MHz spectrum by the fourth quarter.

Hesse said that the company remains on track to close its pending SoftBank and Clearwire deals by July, but added that the company won’t be discussing those efforts on the call.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald