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UPDATE 3-T-Mobile quarterly results top estimates as subscribers grow

(Adds CEO comments on M&A, CFO comment on dividend)

July 19 (Reuters) - T-Mobile US Inc's quarterly results topped analysts' estimates as the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier on Wednesday reported more phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill and record low customer dropout rate.

T-Mobile has been gaining share from larger competitors AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc in a saturated U.S. wireless market through network improvements and lower prices.

Shares rose 3 percent to $63.96 in after-hours trading.

The company had said it was open to considering various strategic options and has acknowledged interest in talking with rival Sprint Corp about a merger.

But such discussions appear to be on hold as Sprint explores other partnerships. Sources told Reuters in June that Sprint, controlled by Japan's SoftBank Group Corp, had entered into a two-month period of exclusive negotiations with cable companies Charter Communications Inc and Comcast Corp until the end of July.

Sources also told Reuters that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc and John Malone's Liberty Media Corp were exploring an investment of $10 billion to $20 billion in Sprint.

"I would say we have the same but maybe more opportunities from an inorganic or an expansion standpoint than we had last quarter," Chief Executive John Legere said on the company's post-earnings conference call. "I feel equally as strong about all of the same things I did last time."

On the company's earnings call in April, Legere said satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp had access to content and spectrum and noted Sprint had "an awful lot of scale and a good customer base." He also said that Amazon.com Inc and Internet players "should be thought about because they drive great value for shareholders."

The carrier added 786,000 phone subscribers in the second quarter ended June 30, up from 646,000 in the year-earlier period. Analysts on average had expected net additions of 607,000, according to research firm FactSet.

Churn, or customer defections, was 1.1 percent, a record low.

Net income rose to $581 million, or 67 cents per share, from $225 million, or 25 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue rose to $10.21 billion from $9.29 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 38 cents per share on revenue of $9.81 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

T-Mobile Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter also said on the call that the company was considering introducing a small, quarterly dividend. (Reporting by Anjali Athavaley in New York and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Richard Chang)