Telecom & Wireless

Clearwire Misses Estimates, but It Won’t Matter

Cell Tower detail
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Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ: CLWR) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results after markets closed today.

For the quarter, the wireless carrier posted an adjusted earnings per share (EPS) loss of $0.28 on revenues of $311.24 million. In the same period a year ago, the company reported an EPS loss of $0.81 on revenues of $361.87 million. Fourth-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for an EPS loss of $0.22 and $313.52 million in revenues.

For the full year, Clearwire posted an EPS loss of $1.31 on revenues of $1.26 billion, compared with a consensus estimate for an EPS loss of $1.23 on revenues of $1.27 billion.

Eliminating the loss from discontinued operations, the quarterly EPS loss totaled $0.27 and the annual EPS loss totaled $1.01.

The company’s CEO noted:

Our full year 2012 results demonstrate our continued focus on reducing costs, managing revenues and liquidity, and providing exceptional service to our customers during a transition period as we build an LTE network equipped to provide wireless consumers the speeds and capacity they desire.

Clearwire had no comments on the bidding battle between Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) and Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH) to acquire Clearwire.

Clearwire provided no guidance for the current fiscal year, probably because management figured it wasn’t worth the effort. The consensus estimate for the current quarter calls for an EPS loss of $0.19 on revenues of $316.51 million. For the full year, the estimated EPS loss is $0.85 on revenues of $1.35 billion.

Costs per subscriber additions fell from $191 per subscriber in the last quarter, to $155 in the fourth quarter. Clearwire attributed the decline to its no-contract offering, which also drove the company’s churn rate to 5% in the third quarter, down 0.1% sequentially.

Clearwire’s shares are down about 0.6% in after-hours trading, at $3.16, in a 52-week range of $0.83 to $3.41. The consensus target price for the shares was around $3.10 before today’s report.

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