The third-quarter tally of 1.08 million new monthly subscribers was the fourth straight quarter to exceed more than 1 million customer additions.
T-Mobile US stock rose Tuesday after the wireless carrier added more subscribers in the third quarter than Wall Street expected, giving fresh momentum to the Bellevue company as it awaits federal approval for its $26.5 billion acquisition of Sprint.
The carrier added 1.08 million monthly subscribers in the third quarter, beating the 844,000 projected. It was the fourth straight quarter to exceed more than 1 million customers.
T-Mobile shares rose 1.7 percent to $65 in after-hours trading after the results. The stock lost 1.5 percent in Tuesday’s regular session.
Though still a distant third to Verizon Communications and AT&T, T-Mobile has been on the industry’s biggest hot streak. The latest results give investors hope that it can continue to pick off customers from rivals with lower prices and improving service.
The next question is whether the upbeat earnings will help or hurt T-Mobile’s attempt to buy Sprint. The two companies have argued that they need each other to keep the pressure on the two biggest carriers and build a next-generation wireless network.
For now, the signs from Washington, D.C., suggest a 70 percent chance that the deal gets regulatory approval, according to Wells Fargo & Co. analyst Jennifer Fritzsche. “It is not out of the realm of possibility to see approvals by first quarter 2019.”
The company raised its outlook for 2018 subscriber growth to as much as 4.1 million from up to 3.6 million previously.
T-Mobile also reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit of $795 million, or 93 cents a share. The average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 85 cents per share.
The wireless carrier’s revenue of $10.84 billion also beat Street forecasts. Twelve analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $10.7 billion.