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  1. #1
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    Leap 4Q Loss Narrows As Customers Rise, Results Miss View - NASDAQ

    SOURCE:
    Nasdaq




    Leap Wireless International Inc.'s (
    LEAP


    ) fourth-quarter loss narrowed as the prepaid mobile-phone company expanded its customer base and as charges weighed down the year-ago results.


    Shares slipped 2.3% to $9.40 in recent after-hours trading, however, as Thursday's results missed analyst expectations.


    Leap has seen its revenue grow in recent quarters as it attracts customers wary of being tied to long-term contracts, but it has posted repeated losses as its traditionally lower-
    income


    customer base has been hit hard by high unemployment and economic weakness. The operator of the Cricket brand of prepaid service has been looking to attract higher-income customers by selling smartphones, offering more-attractive flat-rate terms and opening more of its own stores.


    Leap's Chief Executive Doug Hutcheson said Thursday the company has continued to see attractive adoption of its higher-value service plans, which helped drive average revenue per user higher.


    In the latest quarter, Leap reported a loss of $84.4 million, or $1.10 a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $249.4 million, or $3.28 a share. Excluding debt buybacks, the purchase of the remaining share of Denali Spectrum LLC and the formation of a joint venture in south Texas, the year-ago loss was $ 1.48 a share. Revenue jumped 8.4% to $767.4 million.


    Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently
    forecast


    a loss of $1.11 a share on revenue of $808 million.


    The company added about 179,000 net customers in the fourth quarter, compared with 107,000 a year earlier. It ended the period with 5.9 million customers, up from 5.52 million from a year earlier. Churn, a gauge of customer turnover, edged down to 3.9% from 4%.


    Average revenue per user was up 10% to $42.09.


    The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that AT&
    T


    Inc. (
    T


    ) is studying new deals to bolster its wireless airwaves holdings, including a potential deal with Leap to acquire the company or some of its spectrum holdings, people familiar with the matter said.


    -By Nathalie Tadena,
    Dow Jones


    Newswires; 212-416-3287; nathalie.tadena@ dowjones.com














    Last edited by knewsom32; 02-17-2012 at 11:52 AM.
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