T-Mobile profit jumps, beats estimates; subscriber additions cited

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T-Mobile profit jumps, beats estimates; subscriber additions cited

FILE PHOTO: A T-Mobile logo is seen on the storefront door of a store in Manhattan, New York, U.S., April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) – T-Mobile US Inc first-quarter revenue and profit jumped from a year earlier, beating Wall Street’s estimates, the company said on Thursday, citing competitively priced wireless plans that enabled it to substantially boost the number of net new phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill.

Shares of the Bellevue, Washington-based operator rose about 1 percent after hours to $73.45.

The company said it added a net 656,000 phone subscribers in the first quarter, up from 617,000 additions a year earlier and substantially more than the 612,000 new subscribers analysts had expected, according to research firm FactSet.

T-Mobile, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscriber count, is awaiting approval of its $26 billion deal to buy smaller rival Sprint Corp, seeking to beef up to compete with bigger rivals Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc.

Net income surged to $908 million, or $1.06 per share, in the three months ended March 31, from $671 million, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected the company to earn 91 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

At a meeting on Wednesday, officials from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission questioned Sprint and T-Mobile executives about their contention that a merger will allow them to slash prices for wireless customers and other issues, according to a filing. The FCC and the U.S. Justice Department have yet to approve the deal.

The U.S. Justice Department has told T-Mobile and Sprint it has concerns about the merger in its current structure, sources told Reuters last week.

Revenue rose nearly 6 percent to $11.08 billion, slightly ahead of estimates of $11 billion.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in New York; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and David Gregorio