T-Mobile soared as much as 9.5% in extended trading after the company, the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, projected 2022 subscriber growth that exceeded most analysts’ expectations.

As part of its fourth-quarter report, Bellevue-based T-Mobile US said Wednesday it expects to add 5 million to 5.5 million new subscribers this year. Analysts had forecast 5 million, according to the average of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The strong forecast buoyed investors who were bracing for an industry slowdown. T-Mobile typically projects conservatively and then beats its own targets.

AT&T suggested last week that growth will slow from 2021, when phone giveaways and stimulus checks fueled a surge. If new customers are harder to find, that may force carriers to resume margin-punishing promotions later this year.

T-Mobile rose as high as $120 in extended trading after the results came out. The stock closed little changed at $109.58 in New York and is down 5.5% this year.

More

Advertising

The carrier has had an edge over rivals through its earlier introduction of fast 5G service. That helped the company sign 646,000 customers in a new business last year: wireless home broadband. T-Mobile had expected to attract more than 7 million home broadband subscribers by 2025.

T-Mobile also reported fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates. Earnings came to 34 cents a share, the Bellevue-based wireless provider said, exceeding estimates of 12 cents. Revenue edged up to $20.8 billion, missing estimates.

The integration of Sprint, acquired in 2020, has led to overhead-cost savings that the company estimates will range as high as $2.35 billion this year, according to the earnings report.

2022 Bloomberg L.P.