Sprint Nextel reported poor subscriber results for its fourth quarter, said it expects “continued downward pressure on subscriber trends, revenues and profitability in 2008,” and announced layoffs and store closures. The layoffs were reported by The Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

The company’s stock lost about one-fifth of its value on the news, trading as low as $8.85 – a five-year low.

Sprint reported a net gain of 500,000 subscribers through wholesale channels, a growth of 256,000 Boost Unlimited users and net additions of 20,000 subscribers within affiliate channels. The company said that was offset by net losses of 683,000 post-paid subscribers and 202,000 traditional pre-paid users.

Sprint said it will close 125 retail stores – about 9 percent of its 1,400 company-owned locations – and will cut 4,000 jobs. Sprint also intends to scale back on outside contracting.

The company characterized those actions as “initial plans,” suggesting additional measures are still possible. Sprint calculated it could save $700 million to $800 million by the end of the year from the announced cuts.

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