Nextel Brings Hope to Wireless Economy

Adding nearly half a million new domestic subscribers during its third quarter, the wireless carrier raked in income of $526 million.

Wireless carrier Nextel Communications Inc. brought some hope to a weary wireless economy this month, reporting a profit for the quarter, ended September 30.

The company reported an income of $526 million, or 58 cents per share. This compares with a lost of $209 million, or 27 cents per share, for the same quarter last year.

Revenue was $2.3 billion, a 26 percent increase over the third quarter last year, the Reston, Va., company reported.

Excluding charges, Nextels income was $128 million, or 14 cents per share.

Nextel retired $1.5 billion in outstanding debt and preferred security during the quarter, which brings the companys debt retirement up to $2.6 billion for the year so far.

Nextel added approximately 480,000 domestic subscribers during the third quarter, finishing the quarter with a domestic susbscriber base of approximately 10.1 million.

Nextel, the fifth largest wireless carrier in the country, is known for its iDen network, which enables subscribers to use phones like walkie-talkies. Research in Motion Ltd. plans to release a BlackBerry pager for the iDen network by the end of the year.