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Sprint 1Q loss shrinks but so do subscriber ranks

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Sprint Corp., the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, said Tuesday that its first-quarter loss narrowed significantly but its ranks of subscribers shrank.

Sprint said it lost a net 467,000 wireless devices during the quarter, up from the 415,000 that it lost in the year-ago quarter. Excluding its Nextel platform, which the company shut off last year, the company lost a net 383,000 customers, while it gained a net 356,000 in the 2013 quarter.

But its financial loss was smaller than Wall Street had expected, and its shares rose in premarket trading.

For the quarter ended March 31, Sprint posted a loss of $151 million, or 4 cents per share. That compared with a year-ago loss of $643 million, or 21 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue edged up about 1 percent to $8.88 billion from $8.79 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 9 cents per share on $8.77 billion in revenue.

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

Sprint shares rose 27 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $7.70 in premarket trading about 45 minutes ahead of the market opening.

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