Sprint Falls as Holders Sell Shares

Sprint (NYSE: FON) was down US$2 at $20.60in early trading Wednesday after Deutsche Telekom and France Telekom saidthey would sell their shares in the company.

The Kansas City, Missouri-based telecom company filed with the U.S.Securities and Exchange Commission for the sale in a public offering of 152.03 million commonshares. Deutsche Telekom and France Telecomwill sell all the shares, and Sprint will not receive any of the proceeds.

France Telecom said it is selling its 75.9 million Sprint shares as part ofa plan to “dispose of non-strategic assets” and cut debt, adding that itexpects to complete the sale in the current quarter. The French company saidits shares are worth about $2 billion.

Sprint recently reported revenue for the fourth quarter ended December 31stof $4.39 billion, down from $4.42 billion in the year-earlier quarter.Operating income fell to $598 million from $731 million.

By contrast, the company’s PCS division (NYSE: PCS) said revenue rose 84percent from a year earlier to $1.94 billion.

According to Sprint PCS, its network now covers almost 80 percent of the United States and its products and services are sold in more than 13,500 locations.

PCSis further extending its wireless reach through an agreement with AmericaOnline that brings AOL’s Instant Messenger service to Sprint PCSInternet-ready phones. The phones also come with free e-mail and otherservices.

Sprint has also said it was shifting its focus away from traditional long-distancetelephone calls and toward the higher-growth areas of wireless, data andlocal broadband services.

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