Sprint's day may have arrived -- particularly if Sprint adds Apple's iPhone 5 this autumn, in a much chattered-about Oct. 7 possible move.
For the new, potentially iPhone 5-featuring Sprint, just call it the revenge of the much-maligned, the underdog making a comeback, the all-but-forgotten getting a second chance -- all the clichés apply if the iPhone 5 joins the Sprint family. And the reason is obvious enough: the iPhone 5 would bolster several key metrics.
iPhone 5 Would Aid Top, Bottom Lines
First, undoubtedly, the iPhone 5 would lead to subscribe growth, with less attrition. Spring boasted roughly 52.1 million wireless subscribers as of the second quarter 2011.
Second, most likely Sprint's revenue, which totaled $32.3 billion in 2009 and $32.6 billion in 2010, with the iPhone 5 would rise more than the 2.9 percent to 3.2 percent revenue growth many analysts are projecting for the company in 2011. What's more, the 2.0 percent revenue growth for 2012 also would look a tad light.
Sprint's shares traded Thursday afternoon up 1 cent to $3.77. Reuters expects Sprint to post 2011 revenue of $33.47 billion and 2012 revenue of $34.23 billion.
Third, and equally significant, while the iPhone would not eliminate Sprint's 67-cent loss for 2011 that Reuters estimates, it's likely to reduce the shortfall considerably.
iPhone 5: Cache Factor
What's more, the iPhone 5 will further shore-up Sprint's image/brand. Hurt over the previous decade by a cell phone network that underperformed, to say the least, that reputation or rep has stuck to Sprint, when, in reality Sprint's network has been improving over the past three years. So has its customer service, and its decent line of smartphones and related devices will only be enhanced if the iPhone 5 is successfully recruited -- something that would continue Sprint's operational momentum.
Finally, there's the cache factor. If Sprint secures the iPhone 5, it can't tell institutional investors -- the big guns who determine stock price values -- that it's going to match the operational and earnings performance of AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) in a year, but it can say it's getting to the point where it's a contender, again and that may encourage some investors to get ahead of the game and start loading up on the stock.