Telecom & Wireless

Leap Shows Gaps In Earnings

Jon C. Ogg

Leap Wireless International (NASDAQ: LEAP) is out with its second quarter results, and the end result showed a wider loss than expected and the customer metrics look soft as well.  Apparently having no-contract customers is just not quite as good as what AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) investors have come to expect.

The quarterly loss narrowed to $41.6 million, or -$0.54 per share, versus a loss of $65.2 million, or -$0.85 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.  Still, Thomson Reuters was calling for a loss of only -$0.50 per share.

Here were some other comments: “Service revenues for the second quarter of 2012 increased 6.7 percent over the prior year quarter to $751.3 million. The Company reported $190.8 million of adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) for the second quarter, an 18.8 percent increase over the prior year quarter.  Second quarter 2012 operating income was $31.6 million compared to operating income of $12.3 million for the second quarter of 2011.”

Leap did manage to talk down its cap-ex spending plans for 2012 in a range of $530 to $560 million.

The ‘pay as you go’ provider added approximately 493,000 gross customers in the quarter and saw approximately 289,000 net customer losses, with the net losses being about 205,000 voice customers and 84,000 broadband customers. The carrier’s customer churn for the second quarter of 2012 was 4.4 percent.

Leap shares rose 5.7% to $5.52 on the day, but shares are down 10% to $4.95 in the after-hours trading session.