sprint store

Number three wireless carrier Sprint posted mixed results in its first quarter financials with a $863 million net loss — but it also gained 263,000 subscribers, the company announced this morning.

Sprint earned $8.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 5 percent gain over the year-ago quarter. However, it posted an operating loss of $255 million versus operating income of $259 million in the first quarter of 2011.

While those numbers weren’t impressive, its subscriber additions looked chipper. The company added 263,000 postpaid net subscribers, 870,000 prepaid net subscribers, and 785,000 wholesale and affiliate net subscribers.

In regards to the company-saving iPhone, Sprint sold 1.5 million units, with 44 percent going to new customers. In the previous quarter, the company sold 1.8 million iPhones.

“The continuing revenue growth on the Sprint platform, which represents the future of our company, driven by record ARPU improvement and strong net subscriber growth, contributed to our Adjusted OIBDA* performance of $1.2 billion,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “The value and simplicity of our unlimited data, talk and text plans, combined with an unsurpassed customer experience and our increasingly robust device portfolio make for a strong combination.”

Investors were surprisingly upbeat on Sprint’s quarter, with the company’s stock on the NYSE up about 2 percent at time of this writing.

Sprint store photo: Consumerist/Flickr