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T-Mobile Earnings Jump on Subscriber Gains, Lower Churn

By Joe Tenebruso – May 1, 2019 at 10:31AM

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CEO John Legere says the wireless carrier "continues to fire on all cylinders."

T-Mobile (TMUS -0.01%) is enjoying some of the most impressive growth in the U.S. wireless industry, as can be seen in the company's strong first-quarter results. 

T-Mobile results: The raw numbers


Q1 2019

Q1 2018

Year-Over-Year Change


$11.1 billion

$10.5 billion


Net income

$908 million

$671 million


Earnings per share




Data source: T-Mobile Q1 2019 earnings release. 

What happened with T-Mobile this quarter?

The No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier continued to add new subscribers at an impressive rate. T-Mobile added a total of 1.7 million net new customers, including 1 million postpaid subscribers who pay monthly bills and are generally the most profitable customers for wireless companies.

"Q1 marks the 24th quarter in a row where T-Mobile delivered greater than 1 million total customer net additions, and another quarter with customer growth that accelerated year-over-year," the company said in a press release.

Moreover, T-Mobile said that it expects to "once again lead the industry in branded postpaid phone customer net additions and capture approximately 88% of industry growth" in the first quarter.

A compass pointing towards the word growth.

T-Mobile accounted for nearly all of the U.S. wireless industry's growth in the first quarter. Image source: Getty Images.

Better still, T-Mobile's customer-retention metrics continue to improve. Its branded postpaid phone churn rate declined 19 basis points year over year, to a record-low 0.88%. "This improvement was primarily due to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty from ongoing improvements to network quality, industry-leading customer service, and the overall value of our offerings," the company said. 

All told, revenue rose 6%, to $11.1 billion. These revenue gains combined with effective cost controls helped EBITDA -- adjusted to exclude stock-based compensation and certain other items -- increase by 11%, to $3.3 billion. Additionally, net income surged 35%, to $908 million, or $1.06 per share.

Looking forward

These strong results prompted T-Mobile to boost its full-year guidance for branded postpaid net additions to a range of 3.1 million to 3.7 million, up from a previous forecast of 2.6 million to 3.6 million. Management also reiterated its adjusted EBITDA target of $12.7 billion to $13.2 billion.

In addition, CEO John Legere commented on T-Mobile's pending merger with Sprint (S) during a conference call with analysts.

Nearly one year ago, to the day, we announced our groundbreaking merger. We spent the last 12 months sharing our story and laying out the facts and proof about how the new T-Mobile will deliver the nation's first broad and deep nationwide 5G network, supercharge competition in wireless and beyond, and create thousands of American jobs, starting on day one.

Legere went on to say that T-Mobile and Sprint are in the final innings of the regulatory review process and are "optimistic and confident that with the substantial facts and the record before them, the regulators will recognize that this merger is good for consumers."

Legere also took a shot at some of the deal's detractors, saying:

Make no mistake, opponents of this transaction are desperate to maintain the status quo. All to the detriment of their customers and for their own benefit. New T-Mobile will be the number three wireless player, with the number one network, and will aggressively compete by giving more to customers, all while asking them to pay less.

Whether regulators will ultimately approve T-Mobile's acquisition of Sprint remains uncertain. Yet even as it awaits the completion of this arduous regulatory process, T-Mobile is executing its growth strategy.

"Our results speak for themselves and our business continues to fire on all cylinders," Legere said.

Joe Tenebruso has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends T-Mobile US. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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