T-Mobile earnings: 78 cents per share, vs. 71 cents expected

Key Points
  • Hot off the heels of a blockbuster merger announcement with Sprint, T-Mobile beat on first quarter earnings.
  • The telecom company reported record low customer turnover rates, and marked its fifth consecutive year netting 1 million or more customers.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere speaks on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 30, 2018.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

T-Mobile reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analysts' expectations on Tuesday. Shares edged up close to 1 percent after the announcement.

Here's how the company did compared with what Wall Street expected:

  • Earnings: 78 cents per share vs. 71 cents per share forecast by Thomson Reuters
  • Revenue: $10.46 billion vs. $10.35 billion forecast by Thomson Reuters
  • Net adds: 1.4 million vs. 1.27 million, forecast by StreetAccount

Revenue grew by 8.8 percent year-over year, while earnings fell by about 2.5 percent.

T-Mobile's first quarter report marked its fifth year and 20th consecutive quarter netting more than 1 million customers.

The telecom company also marked record low churn, or customer turnover, which COO Mike Sievert on a call with investors attributed in part to the fact that "there are less switchers in the market." T-Mobile reported 1.07 percent branded postpaid phone churn, down 11 basis points from the 1.18 percent churn reported in the year-ago quarter. The results surpassed the street's expectations of 1.16 percent churn.

Despite the uptick in customer retention and net adds, T-Mobile reported a 1.8 percent drop in average revenue per user on branded postpaid phones. In the first quarter of 2018, T-Mobile reported revenue of $46.66 per user, compared with $47.53 in the year-ago quarter.

T-Mobile strengthened its 2018 outlook, raising the target for branded postpaid net customer additions to between 2.6 and 3.3 million, up from 2 to 3 million. The company also increased full-year EBITDA to between $11.4 and $11.8 billion, surpassing street estimates of $11.3 to 11.7 billion, according to StreetAccount.

On Sunday, the company announced a blockbuster merger agreement with rival Sprint. The new combined company will boast more than 100 million subscribers and a value of $146 billion.

T-Mobile had previously struggled to keep up with the two largest wireless companies, Verizon and AT&T, but the merger with Sprint promises to boost T-Mobile's odds in the race for customers and technological innovation. The new company is touting the ability to create thousands of U.S. jobs and a large-scale 5G network that could compete with China in the near-term.

The agreement still faces regulatory scrutiny from the Trump administration, which has taken a hard line on telecom mergers.

After a day of talking to regulators in Washington D.C., T-Mobile CEO John Legere said on a call with investors that he is "highly confident about the transaction."

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump scuppered Broadcom's attempt to buy mobile chip maker Qualcomm, and the Department of Justice is suing to stop AT&T's proposed acquisition of Time Warner.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the revenue forecast by Thomson Reuters.

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