(Corrects year-ago GAAP revenue to $4.89 billion, not $4.26
bln; error also occurred in update 1)
By Sinead Carew
Nov 5 T-Mobile US Inc, the No. 4 U.S.
mobile provider, reported third-quarter subscriber growth well
ahead of expectations on Tuesday, and showed it was putting
pressure on market leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc.
T-Mobile shares rose 3.6 percent in premarket trade after it
reported its second straight quarter of growth after four years
of customer losses.
T-Mobile US, 74 percent owned by Deutsche Telekom AG
, has been fighting aggressively to return to growth
by sharply criticizing its bigger rivals in its marketing and
selling itself as more consumer-friendly.
It added 648,000 net subscribers in the quarter, compared
with the average expectation for 444,000 subscribers, according
to seven analysts contacted by Reuters.
While its biggest rival, Verizon Wireless, reported much
faster overall subscriber growth of 927,000, T-Mobile blew past
customer additions at No. 2 U.S. mobile provider AT&T, which
added 363,000, and Sprint Corp, which lost 360,000 in the
Excluding connections to devices such as tablet computers,
T-Mobile reported phone subscribers of 643,000 that beat Verizon
Wireless's growth of 481,000. Without tablets, AT&T would have
reported subscriber losses in the quarter, according to
"It's overall a good quarter," said Hudson Square analyst
Todd Rethemeier. "Customer growth was much better than expected,
which usually results in lower profitability but in this case
they made up for it elsewhere and total profitability was
roughly in line with my estimate."
Rethemeier said T-Mobile's adjusted earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $1.34 billion
was not far behind his estimate of $1.36 billion, likely because
of savings from its merger with MetroPCS.
After two quarters of beating expectations, T-Mobile was
also able to increase its customer growth target for 2013 to a
range of 1.6 million to 1.8 million from its previous target
range of 1 million to 1.2 million.
Its net loss narrowed to $36 million in the third quarter
from $7.74 billion in the year-ago period, when it incurred a
massive goodwill impairment charge of $8.1 billion.
Total revenue jumped to $6.69 billion from $4.89 billion,
primarily due to the MetroPCS merger earlier this year.
Verizon Wireless is owned by Verizon Communications Inc
and Vodafone Group Plc.
T-Mobile shares rose to $29.35 from a Monday close at $28.34
on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Sinead Carew; Additional reporting by Chuck
Mikolajczak; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoe)