Jul 20, 2017

T-Mobile blew Wall Street out of the water with its earnings

T-Mobile posted quarterly earnings on Wednesday that far exceeded Wall Street's wildest expectations.


Customers flocked to T-Mobile during the quarter, according to the company's financial results, which showed record low churn of postpaid phone service for the telecom company. The mobile carrier's net adds, a key measure of the number of customers added during the quarter, hit 1.33 million, exceeding the 807,000 expected by Street Account.

Business customers are also a burgeoning source of growth for T-Mobile, CEO John Legere said on a conference call.

The results temporarily halted the stock in after-hours trading. Shares edged higher after trading halt was lifted.

Earnings fly past estimates

  • EPS: 67 cents per share vs. 38 cents per share expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimates
  • Revenue: $10.21 billion vs. $9.81 billion expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate

That's up compared to earnings of 25 cents per share on revenue of $9.29 billion in the year-ago period.

The battle of the unlimited data plans

Mobile carriers have been in fierce competition over the past year as consumers have pushed trends like unlimited data plans and the end of contract commitments. T-Mobile saw data volumes growing about 40 percent year-over-year, technology chief Neville Ray told analysts on a conference call last quarter.

The advent of faster internet speeds, coming with 5G-compatible phone chips, is likely to accelerate the competition for wireless customers. The "super cycle" of iPhone 8 customers expected by analysts could also pose an unprecedented challenge for carriers.

Legere said there's no "magic" behind T-Mobile's quarterly results, crediting the beat to investments in the network and "good, old-fashioned focus" from engineers.

"This was a competitive quarter," Legere said. "It was the first full quarter with all the unlimited plans on the market."


by Anita Balakrishnan