T-Mobile Rallies After Subscriber Gains Top Analysts’ Estimates

(Bloomberg) -- T-Mobile US Inc. rallied after adding more subscribers than Wall Street expected in the third quarter, giving fresh momentum to a company awaiting federal approval for its $26.5 billion acquisition of Sprint Corp.

  • The carrier added 1.08 million monthly subscribers in the third quarter, beating the 844,000 projected. It was the fourth straight quarter to exceed more than 1 million customers.

Key Insights

  • Though still a distant third to Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., T-Mobile has been on the industry’s biggest hot streak. The latest results give investors hope that it can continue to pick off customers from rivals with lower prices and improving service.
  • The next question is whether the upbeat earnings will help or hurt T-Mobile’s attempt to buy Sprint. The two companies have argued that they need each other to keep the pressure on the two biggest carriers and build a next-generation wireless network.
  • For now, the signs from Washington suggest a 70 percent chance that the deal gets regulatory approval, according to Wells Fargo & Co. analyst Jennifer Fritzsche. “It is not out of the realm of possibility to see approvals by first quarter 2019.”

Market Reaction

  • T-Mobile shares rose as much as 4 percent to $66.50 in aftermarket trading following the results. The stock had been up less than 1 percent this year through Tuesday’s close.

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  • The company raised its outlook for 2018 subscriber growth to as much as 4.1 million from up to 3.6 million previously.
  • For more details on the earnings, click here.

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