Sprint (S) at Deutsche Bank Notes

Sprint’s marketing message: why pay a lot more for a network that is only marginally better?

“And so we’re very pleased with that campaign, because what it actually pointed out is that there isn’t much of a difference between network performance today. We don’t profess to have yet the best network but we do feel that our network is good and certainly does not justify a very large premium that the competitive providers are actually charging… we shifted the messaging to say why pay more. And this started to resonate with consumers in the United States” Tarek Robbiati – CFO

 

Network is the number one cause of churn

50% of the reasons why customer churn are network related. 30% to 35% are price related and 15% to 20% are service related.” Tarek Robbiati – CFO

 

CapEx is lower presently because Sprint is benefiting from its historically high CapEx

“We spent and historically Sprint has had the highest CapEx to sales ratio of the industry. With Network Vision we spent a fair bit of money modernizing our tower infrastructure. And so we are still benefiting from that historic investment and this is really a positive walking into fiscal year ‘16 and that’s why our CapEx in part was lower in the first quarter of fiscal year ‘16.” Tarek Robbiati – CFO

 

CapEx is also lower because small cell installation is far cheaper than towers and other previous infrastructure

“The cost of those cell sites, small cell site is a fraction of the cost of the towers. So it depends on how many cell sites you need to build in every geography but a cell site is on average costing 20% the cost of a tower. So you need to spend less per small cite as you roll out some of them. So the spend is more scattered over time because of the permitting and the unit dollars that you spend are lower and the two effects combined explain why we guided the market towards the 3 billion mark for this fiscal year. We said less than 3 billion.” Tarek Robbiati – CFO

 

Sprint wants to utilize multiple sources of financing going forth

“It’s important for us that we have a diversified financing strategy. And so we will use different types of source of financing whether it’s high yield, whether it’s asset backed lending or others that I’m not mentioning but — to continue to finance our operations. And that’s really important because now that we have shored up liquidity we’re paying more attention at lowering our cost of capital and lowering our cost of debt. We pay every year around $2.3 billion of interest expense. It’s a very high number and it stands in the way from us becoming pretax positive. You know, it’s not talked a lot about in our – by the analysts who follow us but we do have a fair bit of operating losses on our balance sheet that we would like to monetize and realize the value for. We have $19.2 billion of notes at the end of the first quarter… It’s really important that we have sufficient liquidity to repay them and it’s a gradual process that we are embarking on incremental over the next several quarters to reduce our cost of debt.” Tarek Robbiati – CFO

Sprint (S) at Goldman Sachs Conference 2016 Notes

Every employee has been given equity based incentive, that triggers only if the stock price reaches $8

“Every single employee — over 30,000 employees, we did 30,000 grants. So every single employee has the exact copy of what I — of my incentive package, meaning no equity until the stock hits $8”. Marcelo Claure – President and CEO

 

Prime families are the ideal customer

“Now just putting perspective, a prime customer will stay with you about two and half times more than a subprime customer… And if you could capture that which is what we want, prime families that come more than individuals with a single line, you start seeing the business provide a very different customer life value and profitability changes.” Marcelo Claure – President and CEO

 

Wireless communication industry is aggressively competitive

“I think we’re living in a pretty competitive environment. If you look at Verizon’s advertising, it’s turned a bit aggressive. They hire people to talk about the Sprint network and for also you would be following Verizon, they have not done that I think.” Marcelo Claure – President and CEO

 

iPhone war results in free iPhones

“There is once a year where there is a big launch of iPhones and we all try to basically put up the best offer. I think this year, we are very little creative. I think we all went with a free iPhone. So therefore there is no competitive advantage. So it’s interesting to see Verizon and AT&T react fast” Marcelo Claure – President and CEO

 

Consumers are confused by data plans, and prefer a fixed bill

“And the vast majority say, give me one bill, with a fixed amount that I don’t need to try to figure out how many gigabytes, how many megabyte — maybe you guys are smarter than me, but I don’t know how to use a gigabyte. I don’t know what it really means” Marcelo Claure – President and CEO

 

After years of bashing, PC Magazine gives Sprint some favorable coverage

“I thought the editors of PC Magazine really hated us, they were bashing Sprint for years and if you read PC Magazine today, they have done an awesome piece that basically shows why, yet Sprint is not better than Verizon yet, but we are the story. We’re the comeback story. We’re more reliable than Verizon in certain markets. We’re faster than Verizon in other markets.” Marcelo Claure – President and CEO

 

Sprint believes it has a cost advantage in network structure

“Every single structure comes into a control tower in which we basically figure out what is the most cost efficient and the fastest speed that you can deploy a structure…. We believe that we have a competitive advantage in how we’re deploying our network and what is our cost to basically put a new gear and what’s our cost to operate a network that we feel is not being good but just basically exposing our plan. It’s very different than the way our competitors have deployed networks.” Marcelo Claure – President and CEO

 

Building a network is no longer extremely expensive

“Look at our network today, it’s the lowest CapEx. Now as we densify our network, yes we’re going to increase our CapEx and yes we’re going to increase our OpEx. But never to the tune of the way it’s been done in the past. There is way too many new technologies today. We have way too much spectrum and we’ve been real smart on how we deploy our network.” Marcelo Claure – President and CEO

 

Smaller companies like Sprint favor net neutrality, while its bigger competitors oppose it

“Sprint was the first one that endorsed net neutrality because we believe that when you’re a smaller company, it is not such a bad thing to have the government look over and in many competitive practices that or bigger competitors do.”Marcelo Claure – President and CEO

 

Sprint plans to use its spectrum to get financing

“We have a lot of spectrum and we’re right now — our goal would be that before the end of the year we’re able to potentially basically be able to use spectrum in order to finance the company.” Marcelo Claure – President and CEO