Sprint to take $150M charge for layoffs

Sprint (NYSE: S) began slashing jobs last week as part of a round of layoffs expected to last through January, according to a filing with the SEC.

The beleaguered carrier hasn't disclosed how many jobs will be cut, but said in its filing that it expects to take a $150 million charge during the quarter for severance and other costs related to the layoffs. The reduction is expected to be "largely completed" by the end of January, Sprint said, and will include both management and non-management positions.

A Sprint spokesperson reached by FierceWireless said the company had nothing additional to disclose.

Earlier this month, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure took to his weekly company newsletter to tell employees that layoffs had begun, according to The Kansas City Star.

The move is part of a larger effort to trim as much as $2 billion in operating costs over the next several months. Without giving a specific figure, Sprint Chairman and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has said "thousands" of positions will be eliminated. And the budget-cutting won't be limited to just the workforce, CFO Tarek Robbiati said earlier this month.

"Every function is under scrutiny, whether it's finance or whether it's HR or whether it's legal," Robbiati said at an investor event a few weeks ago. "We have way too many overheads in the corporate office, in sales and marketing -- in marketing itself, we are not very good at targeting marketing expenditure that is giving us the biggest bang for the buck."

The carrier is also building out its network in a reported effort to trim the roaming fees it pays to competitors. Sprint is also cutting IT expenses, and is reducing the cost it pays for backhaul in part by moving to fiber.

Sprint has seen gains on the subscriber front after losing millions of postpaid customers before Claure took the helm in August 2014. It saw positive net postpaid adds in the third quarter of 2015, marking its first full-quarter growth in more than two years. Nearly 200,000 prepaid users migrated to postpaid during the quarter, and it added 237,000 postpaid customers compared to a net loss of 500,000 during the same period in 2014.  

For more:
- see Sprint's SEC 8-K filing

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