Ina Fried

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Clearwire Sees Revenue Rise, but Posts Big Q1 Loss on Charges

Clearwire reported first-quarter results on Wednesday that included a more than doubling of revenue to $242 million. However, the WiMax network operator also posted a big loss as it took hefty charges related to, among other things, towers it no longer expects to build.

The company’s net loss was $227 million, or 93 cents per share, including the $202 million in charges.

On a more positive note, Clearwire said it now expects to end the year with approximately 9.5 million subscribers, up from a February prediction that it would end the year with around 8.8 million subscribers. The company said it continues to see its capital expenditures for this year to be less than $400 million and will make other cost cuts with a goal of improving its cash flow. Clearwire ended the first quarter with approximately 6.15 million total subscribers, including 1.29 million of its own retail customers and 4.86 million subscribers from wholesale partners, particularly Sprint.

The troubled company has seen a good deal of turmoil in recent months, including concerns by auditors, job cuts, a dispute with Sprint and a change in management. However, officials expressed confidence in the earnings release that things were headed in the right direction.

“Looking ahead, we expect to work closely with Sprint and all of our other wholesale partners to expand our 4G leadership and capitalize on our rich spectrum holdings that enable us to meet the exploding customer demand for mobile broadband internet access,” COO Erik Prusch said in a statement. “Since the beginning of the year, our network has experienced a 40 percent increase in network usage due to expanded coverage, record subscriber growth and higher usage per device.”