On Wednesday, Sprint - the nation's third largest wireless carrier - topped Wall Street estimates while still posting a first-quarter 2013 loss of $643 million. In Q1 of 2012, the company's net loss was much greater at $863 million.

For the quarter ending March 31, 2013, 1.5 million iPhone sales represented a decline from the 2.2 million iPhone sales logged during Q4 of 2012. Total smartphone sales for the quarter were 5 million.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of today's earnings report is that Sprint saw a precipitous decline in its subscriber base. From January through March of this year, Sprint shed 560,000 subscribers.

All told, shares of Sprint didn't take much of a hit today. Why? Losses continue to narrow. Additionally, the wireless operator has been fielding promising acquisition and merger proposals from the likes of DISH Network Corp. and SoftBank Corp.

“This is a transformative year for Sprint and we’ve gotten off to a good start,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “Record Sprint platform service revenue and subscriber levels fueled our performance. We achieved significant Adjusted OIBDA growth while investing heavily to improve our network, expanding our 4G LTE footprint and offering customers the best smartphones with truly unlimited data plans.”

Source: Sprint