T-Mobile earnings for 1Q17 continue to impress as merger talks heat up

T-Mobile wrapped up its first quarter with an impressive achievement: four years of quarterly net customer gains above 1 million. Oddly enough, four years ago, T-Mobile shifted away from two-year device contracts, one of dozens of industry leading moves it would undertake.

The company reported $9.6 billion in total revenues, 11 percent more than a year ago, but was only able to convert that into operating income of $1.04 billion, an 11 percent loss. Net income did increase 46 percent to $698 million.

The Un-carrier ended this particular quarter with 72.6 million, a net gain of more than 1.1 million. Prepaid continues to improve in a sector that has seen declines: 386,000 came into either MetroPCS or T-Mobile prepaid.

We decided to track the changes for T-Mobile’s reported figures for total customers and branded postpaid customers from quarter to quarter. These do not reflect net additions reported on each quarterly report. The below figures are in thousands.

Period Net subscriber count Net change (subsequent) Postpaid subscriber count Postpaid change (subsequent)
1Q13 33968 +579 20094 -199
2Q13 44016 +10048 20783 +689
3Q13 45039 +1023 21430 +647
4Q13 46684 +1645 22999 +1569
1Q14 49075 +2391 23622 +623
2Q14 50545 +1470 24530 +908
3Q14 52890 +2345 25909 +1379
4Q14 55018 +1128 27185 +1276
1Q15 56836 +1818 28310 +1125
2Q15 58908 +2072 29318 +1008
3Q15 61220 +2312 30403 +1085
4Q15 63282 +2062 31695 +1292
1Q16 65503 +2221 32736 +1041
2Q16 67384 +1881 33626 +890
3Q16 69354 +1970 33230 -396
4Q16 71455 +2101 34427 +1197
1Q17 72597 +1142 35341 +914

It seems that increased competition from Sprint and Verizon have induced some recent slow periods in T-Mobile’s growth, — especially as new unlimited data plans have surfaced this quarter — but the rates remain impressive nonetheless.

An FCC-mandated freeze on any merger and acquisition discussions surrounding any bidders in the 600MHz spectrum auction that just wrapped up will end this week. Market chatter is prizing up T-Mobile to be a sweet target for players like Comcast or a merging partner like the would-be of 2013, Sprint.

The company makes the point that it snagged 45 percent of the offerings available to it and that it hopes to have some deployment activity started in the fourth quarter — that’s despite the National Association of Broadcasters demand that all parties involved adhere to a 39-month timeline repacking timeline.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.