The Bellevue-based wireless carrier swung to a profit of $138 million on a 7 percent revenue gain to $7.85 billion, but its stock sagged as it missed analyst predictions.
T-Mobile US reported a third-quarter profit and brought in millions of new customers, but the Bellevue wireless carrier posted lower than expected profit and revenue, leading its shares to drop nearly 6 percent at the stock market’s close Tuesday.
The company reported a profit of $138 million, or 15 cents a share, up from a $94 million loss in the same quarter last year. It generated $7.85 billion in revenue for the quarter, compared with an increase of almost 7 percent a year ago.
Estimates collected by Yahoo Finance projected the company would report a profit of 30 cents a share on revenue of $8.3 billion.
The results pushed T-Mobile shares, now trading on Nasdaq instead of the New York Stock Exchange, down $2.36 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $39.02.
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T-Mobile, which now ranks No. 3 among the nation’s wireless carriers after surpassing Sprint in the second quarter, added 2.3 million net customers during the third quarter, bringing its total subscriber count to 61.2 million.
Sprint reports its quarterly earnings next week. The company ended its last quarter with 57.7 million customers.
This is the 10th consecutive quarter that T-Mobile has added more than 1 million customers and the fifth consecutive quarter in which more than 1 million new customers were postpaid, considered the most lucrative segment in the wireless industry.
“Our momentum is strong and our incredible customer growth is translating directly into solid financial growth, which makes it crystal clear that putting customers first is just good business,” CEO John Legere said in a news release.
For the third time, the company has increased its guidance range for the year to a total 3.8 million to 4.2 million postpaid customer additions for the year.
Verizon Wireless and AT&T, T-Mobile’s top rivals that Legere refers to as “the duopoly,” released earnings last week, reporting 1.2 million and 2.5 million net customer additions, respectively.
However, AT&T had only 289,000 postpaid additions and Verizon had 1.3 million. While Verizon did add more postpaid customers than T-Mobile, only 430,000 were phone customers, compared with T-Mobile’s 843,000 phone customers.
During a conference call Tuesday with analysts and media, Legere said he wants T-Mobile to continue to “inflict pain on the duopoly” and touted his company’s ability to take customers from its rivals.
In reply to an analyst’s question, Legere said most customers T-Mobile is taking from other carriers (called “porting” when the switching customers keep their phone number) are coming from AT&T, but “the full answer is we’re taking customers from everybody.”
“If you take 11 quarters, so you start with the beginning of 2013, we have added 8.6 million postpaid phones and AT&T has lost 900,000, so this is the trend,” he said on the call. “We’re very comfortable with where it’s heading.”
To attract customers and steal others from competitors, T-Mobile has been touting its “un-carrier” offerings. The un-carrier moves, which started in 2013, range from removing mandatory two-year contracts to offering unlimited music streaming, data rollover and texting while on an airplane.
During Tuesday’s call, Legere said un-carrier X — T-Mobile’s 10th un-carrier move — will be announced Nov. 10 in Los Angeles.
Last week, Re/code reported T-Mobile could be a potential takeover target by Comcast, which is seeking to enter the cellphone business.
If true, it would not be the first time a suitor has courted T-Mobile. In June, rumors emerged of a merger with Dish Network.
Sprint’s parent company, SoftBank, had been in talks with T-Mobile but cut ties in August 2014 after conceding that antitrust regulators would block the deal. And French company Iliad walked away from merger talks a few months later.