Sprint Nextel today reported a mixed bag in the fourth quarter: Revenues and losses were better than analysts' predictions on strong smartphone sales, but the carrier continued to be drained by defections from its Nextel service and costs from its 4G Network Vision upgrade. Excluding Nextel's 644,000 defections, Sprint added 401,000 contract customers and sold 2.2 million iPhones. The iPhones hurt earnings in the short run due to subsidies but will eventually contribute to earnings. Analysts said investors are largely focusing on Sprint's sale of a 70% stake to Japanese carrier Softbank.
Sprint outruns estimates on higher smartphone sales
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