T-Mobile on Monday reported the addition of nearly 600,000 net phone subscribers in the third quarter of the year, along with earnings that significantly exceeded analyst expectations.
The mobile carrier, the nation’s third-largest, reported net income of $550 million in the latest three-month period, which was down 5 percent from the second quarter but up 50 percent from the $366 million in the third quarter of 2016. Diluted earnings per share of $0.63 were well ahead of the $0.46 predicted by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters.
Revenue, meanwhile was roughly in line with expectations at just more than $10 billion, an 8 percent increase from the previous third quarter. T-Mobile officials touted service revenues of $7.6 billion, which marked a new high for the company.
“We’re delivering results that no one else can match and have proven time and time again that we know how to fight for customers and win for shareholders,” CEO John Legere said in a statement.
T-Mobile executives attributed its continued growth to stronger value compared to its larger rivals and highlighted its partnership with Netflix and the rollout of 600 MHz spectrum ahead of schedule.
The company said that it added 1.3 million net customers in the latest quarter, including 817,000 total branded postpaid customers, which was expected to lead the wireless segment for the 7th consecutive quarter. The postpaid customers included 595,000 phone subscribers, but net phone additions slid approximately 30 percent compared to a year ago. The number of branded prepaid customer additions fell by 67 percent to 226,000 compared to 684,000 adds in the same period in 2016.
“T-Mobile is still by far the industry’s growth story … but their growth is now moderating relatively sharply from its peak rates of a year ago,” MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett wrote in a note.
The company raised its guidance for the full year but did not schedule an earnings call and made no mention of an anticipated merger announcement with Sprint, the nation’s fourth-largest carrier.
Reports indicated that antitrust regulators were likely to oppose a merger in hopes that T-Mobile would continue its efforts to lure customers away from Verizon and AT&T.