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The nation's No. 4 wireless carrier reported lower postpaid numbers and higher churn than its larger rivals during the latest quarter.

Sprint officials said the company added a net of 256,000 postpaid customers and saw 1.8 percent churn during that period, including 184,000 net postpaid phone additions and 1.7 percent postpaid phone churn.

Those numbers fell short of totals reported by Verizon and AT&T, as well as preliminary numbers released by T-Mobile. Although the number of postpaid phone additions was below Wall Street expectations, the churn numbers narrowly exceeded the forecast from Wells Fargo analysts.

"While we understand the weaker phone adds, we do not believe it is overly surprising given the competitiveness the last three weeks of December," Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Jennifer Fritzsche wrote in a note.

Fritzsche also highlighted that Sprint's $8.2 billion in net operating revenues and $2.7 billion in adjusted earnings each beat expectations. Postpaid average revenue per user fell just short of expectations while service revenue met Wall Street forecasts.

Sprint officials touted the 10th consecutive quarter of postpaid phone additions as well as 63,000 net prepaid additions. The combined total of 319,000 retail additions was the highest total in nearly three years.

The company said cost-cutting efforts during the year amounted to more than $1 billion, and officials raised their forecasts for operating income and free cash flow for the fiscal year.

"Sprint has now added postpaid phone customers for 10 consecutive quarters and added prepaid customers for four consecutive quarters," CEO Marcelo Claure said in a statement. "This momentum, along with a continued focus on the cost structure, is driving improvements in profitability metrics and adjusted free cash flow."

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