The Associated Press

• Sprint Nextel adds customers

NEW YORK — Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) said Wednesday that it gained subscribers in its latest quarter, the first such gain in three years, as it continued to improve customer service and retention.

However, it continued to lose the most lucrative customers, those who sign two-year contracts, and posted a wider loss for its second quarter due to tax effects.

Sprint shares gained 48 cents, or 9.9 percent, to $5.31 in pre-market trading.

Sprint gained a net 111,000 subscribers in the April to June period, compared to a loss of 257,000 in the same quarter last year. It said it expects to keep adding wireless subscribers for the rest of the year, and reduce the number of contract customers who leave.

Sprint still lost 55,000 subscribers under its own brands in the latest quater, but made up for that by adding 166,000 wholesale and affiliate subscribers, who buy access to the network through resellers.

It lost 228,000 contract subscribers, a figure much improved from the 763,000 it lost in the same quarter last year.

Sprint has been hemorraghing subscribers nearly constantly since its 2005 acquisition of Nextel. That network, incompatible with Sprint’s, is valued for its walkie-talkie-like push-to-talk function, but is poorly suited to smart phones, and millions of subscribers have been leaving every year.

The rate of contract subscribers cancelling service every month was 1.85 percent in the quarter. That was Sprint’s lowest figure ever, though it’s still higher than the corresponding figure at AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

Sprint ended the quarter with 48.2 million subscribers.

Its quarterly loss amounted to $760 million, or 25 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $384 million, or 13 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts who took into account a change in Sprint’s tax treatments were on average expecting a loss 24 cents per share, according to the company.

The Overland Park, Kan., wireless carrier’s revenue slipped 1 percent to $8.03 billion. Analysts expected $8.0 billion in revenue.

• IAC tops Street estimates

SAN FRANCISCO — IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI) reported stronger second-quarter revenues Wednesday, citing growth in its search and Match online dating businesses. Profits fell compared to last year, however, because that quarter included a bump from the sale of its Match Europe operations.

For the April-June quarter, the company run by billionaire Barry Diller earned $13.6 million, or 12 cents per share, down 67 percent from $40.8 million, or 28 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

When excluding one-time items, including the $116.8 million gain from the sale of Match Europe, IAC earned 24 cents per share — 4 cents more that what analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for.

Revenue climbed nearly 19 percent to $402.9 million, more than $20 million more than the $382.6 million analysts expected.

Much of the growth stemmed from New York-based IAC’s core search business, which includes the search engine and reference site and brings in money from online advertising. Revenue in this unit rose 18 percent to $197.2 million.

The increase is similar to what IAC reported in the first three months of the year, and shows the business is continuing to see improvements after a slump in the online ad market plagued it throughout most of last year.

Both Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. also reported growth in online advertising during the quarter, though Yahoo’s was much lower than Google’s.

IAC’s second-largest unit, Match, which includes dating websites such as and

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