T-Mobile US (NASDAQ: TMUS) reported third-quarter results on Oct. 23, and the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier furthered its assault on industry titans Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T).
T-Mobile results: The raw numbers
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What happened with T-Mobile this quarter?
T-Mobile added 1.3 million net new customers, which helped its total subscriber count top 70.7 million by the end of the third quarter. Of those new customers, 817,000 were of the postpaid variety, including 595,000 net postpaid phone customers. Postpaid subscribers pay monthly bills and are typically the most valuable customers for wireless carriers.
T-Mobile continues to use innovative promotions to fuel its customer growth. In September, it announced that its family plans will now include a free Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) subscription.
In the press release announcing the deal, the company stated:
Well, early evidence suggests that what happens is more people become customers of T-Mobile and, ostensibly, Netflix. Better still, the Netflix promotion may also be helping T-Mobile retain more of its existing customers, as postpaid phone churn improved by 9 basis points year over year.
All told, T-Mobile's customer growth drove an 8% year-over-year increase in total revenue, to $10 billion. In turn, EBITDA -- adjusted to exclude stock-based compensation, spectrum gains, and certain other items -- rose 5% to $2.8 billion.
CEO John Legere, in his typical unabashed style, praised T-Mobile's performance in its earnings release:
Legere may be more flamboyant than the average CEO, but T-Mobile continues to back up his bold statements.
T-Mobile raised its 2017 full-year subscriber growth forecast to between 3.3 million and 3.6 million branded postpaid net additions, up from 3.0 million to 3.6 million. It also increased its adjusted EBITDA guidance to a range of $10.8 billion to $11.0 billion, up from a range of $10.5 billion to $10.9 billion.
Notably, T-Mobile declined to conduct its usual conference call with analysts after its earnings release. In a question-and-answer document (opens a PDF) posted to its investor-relations website, the company stated:
The rumors T-Mobile is referring to are recent reports that it will merge with No. 4 U.S wireless carrier Sprint (NYSE: S). Such a deal could make the combined company an even more formidable foe to current industry leaders Verizon and AT&T. However, even if T-Mobile and Sprint were to agree to a merger, regulators would probably give it heavy scrutiny.
Regardless, with another quarter of what's expected to be industry-leading customer gains, T-Mobile continues to expand its share of the massive U.S. wireless industry.
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Joe Tenebruso has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix and Verizon Communications. The Motley Fool recommends T-Mobile US. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.