Ailing Sprint laying off 2,000 workers

NEW YORK - Wireless carrier Sprint (S) says it is eliminating 2,000 jobs, or about 5 percent of its staff, as part of an effort to cut $1.5 billion in annual spending.

The company had announced a round of job cuts in early October, and did not say how many jobs were eliminated at that time.

Sprint said Monday that job cuts would reduce its labor costs by $400 million per year.

"While we are pleased to see customers respond to our new value proposition, we must continue to take bold actions to reach our goal of returning to growth in postpaid phone customers," said CEO Marcelo Claure. "By improving our competitive position and driving costs out of the business, we plan to deliver long-term value creation."

Sprint announced the layoffs in reporting its fiscal second-quarter results. The company reported an operating loss of $765 million on revenues of $8.5 billion for the period, compared with a loss of $699 million on sales of $7.7 billion in the year-ago period.

Sprint shares were down more than 5 percent, to $5.86, in after-marketing trading.

Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint is the third-largest cellphone carrier in the U.S. and is trying to compete better with AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ).

Japan's Softbank bought a majority stake in Sprint in 2013 and the company has eliminated thousands of jobs since then. It had 38,000 employees at the end of 2013.

Sprint suffered a blow this summer after its planned acquisition of T-Mobile US (TMUS) fell apart over concerns regarding the deal's financing and potential regulatory hurdles.