<<Actually, that summary is a gloss over. Sprint, in writing off any goodwill, is supposed to actually provide information as to WHY goodwill is being taken away. The company, based on my readings of their quarterly reports, has failed to do that.>>
Maybe you should try reading the annual report (10-K) for 2007, since that is where the write-off of goodwill was explained:
<<We merged with Nextel Communications, Inc. and acquired Nextel Partners, Inc. in 2005 and 2006, respectively. We also have acquired seven former PCS Affiliates. We paid a premium over the fair value of the net tangible and intangible assets that we acquired in each of these business combinations. As a result, in connection with these business combinations, we recorded $26.3 billion of goodwill in addition to the $4.4 billion of goodwill previously recorded on our balance sheet. All of the goodwill was allocated to our Wireless segment. In the fourth quarter 2007, we conducted our annual assessment of goodwill for impairment. As a result, we recorded a $29.7 billion non-cash goodwill impairment charge in the fourth quarter 2007 in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards, or SFAS, No. 142 Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets. Refer to note 3 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.>>
So, at the end of fiscal year 20004, Sprint had goodwill of only $4.4 billion. As explained in the 10-K, the acquisistion of Nextel and Nextel Partners and the affiliates added an additional $26 billion to goodwill. Thus, the write-off of $29.7 billion largely represented the write down of goodwill attributable to the Nextel acquisitions. Note 3, referenced above, is set forth at pages F-22--F-26 of the 10-K, and it explains in detail the process of determining the write down of goodwill.
<<So, basically Sprint wrote off $29B, but did not disclose which assets that goodwill was being written off from.>>
Goodwill is defined as the excess of the purchase price over the tangible assets in a corporation acquisition. Goodwill has a separate line on the balance sheet. Since the determination was made that the fair market value of the business enterprise did not support the valuation of goodwill on the balance sheet, the company wrote down the value of the goodwill, as it was required to do under current accounting standards. No other assets were affected.
I wouldn't say Hesse is a loser....I will say he moves at the pace of a turtle and truely believe he's a deer caught in the headlights.
Personally I think he been given too much praise for basically doing nothing.
All I see from Hesse so far is more of the same Sprint with no change in site...Additionally the stock has dropped from 14 to 6 during his leadership and that is something that is very important to investors.
The only real developements were the Instinct which I believe was a mild success but not the home run some would like us to believe and the spining off of WIMAX of which Sprint had no choice and will probably eventually lose control of anyway.
The reason I say that is because there is no way Intel, Google and Clearwire are going to stand by and watch Sprint drive WIMAX into the ground like everything else they get their hands on.....Look for these guys to eventually wrestle control of the WIMAX project from Sprint.
Finally we are coming around to the critical Q4 again...This is the point where investors amd Wall Street start tallying up the scoreboard and looking at and for results.
When they find that not only nothing has changed at Sprint and that it is actually much worse this year than last year this time the reality that Hesse has been nothing more than a puppet to the Sprint board will become apparent.
Sorry to be so blunt but I don;'t think anything has really changed....This still looks like the same old Sprint that continues to lose customers, has no direction, with bad leadership and a declining stock price.....All just my opinion.
Considering the size of the biz ($40 billion revenue), Hesse has done quite a lot in 9 months:
1) Clearwire Deal. This was to expedite the project without using up too much of Sprint's resources (time, money, effort) so that they can focus on customer churn. So, the point is to stay out of WiMAX as much as possible but at the same time getting the 'royalty' payments through the majority ownership. S can't drive it into the ground as it will not be involved in its operation.
2) Instinct and the best pricing plan in the industry.
3) Resurrecting the Nextel brand by fixing network issues.
4) Lowering churn to below 2%. Focus on retaining existing customers before focusing on signing up new customers.
5) Kicking out dead beat, money losing customers.
It looks like a snail's pace because Sprint is not a mom and pop operation. I am not saying 3Q and 4Q are going to look pretty but as the saying goes, it's got to get worse before it gets better whenever there is a paradigm shift. Make the verdict in 4Q09, not 4Q08.
The guy is a straight shooter, a visionary and not afraid of change. He is the best candidate to turn the company around. He is miles better than Foresee and probably even beter than Esrey as well. Give him 2 years (till Dec 09) to bring Sprint back to the pre-Nextel days. He is a lot more bullish about the company's prospects than he lets on during analyst meetings.
It doesn't matter who's at the helm. The debt of this company will sink it. The credit crunch is the final nail in S's coffin. S is running out of time. Just wait until S attempts to roll over the debt, their % cost will sky rocket. If they can find any buyers. GS and MS are no longer friends of S. They must now operate as Commercial Banks with less leverage. That will leave S out.
No more money for S and it's being reflected in the stock price.
Companies with high amounts of leverage on the balance sheet will be slaughtered in this market. Only well capitalized, low debt:equity companies will survive what's coming!