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T-Mobile US, Inc. (TMUS)

  • Wed, Nov. 25, 7:23 PM
    • Wells Fargo has picked its winners in March's FCC broadcast incentive auction for wireless spectrum -- and it figures AT&T (T +0.2%) will dominate bidding that should total $30B-$35B.
    • Analysts at the bank predict up to $10B spending coming from the telecom giant for a nationwide block of 2x10 MHz airwaves.
    • T-Mobile (TMUS -3.7%) -- which has been signaling aggressive moves in the auction -- will be second, with $8B spent, the analysts said, while Verizon (VZ -0.6%) should be last with $5B in bids. Sprint (S -1.8%) has already said it's sitting this one out.
    • While AT&T backtracked a bit on pledges to spend $9B while it was digesting DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), the analysts think the benefits of a nationwide block may signal higher spending from the company.
    • Verizon, meanwhile, has credit to spend up to $10B, but probably won't: "Similar to what T has said publicly and based on our conversations with spectrum experts, we look for VZ to contribute in a meaningful way if 2x10MHz bands are made available."
    • Previously: T-Mobile -2.2% as it pledges $200 for each Sprint line that switches (Nov. 25 2015)
    • Previously: SoftBank spending: Arora on investment universe, Sprint worries (Nov. 24 2015)
    | Wed, Nov. 25, 7:23 PM | 27 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 25, 10:20 AM
    • It's been nearly straight down out of the open for T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), down 2.2% after it announced a special "holiday gift" for Sprint (S -0.5%) customers: $200 to switch carriers.
    • That's on top of the up to $650 T-Mobile is offering to cover early termination fees and phone payment balances, and it's $200 for each line switched.
    • "I cannot think of any wireless customers in more desperate need of some holiday cheer than those Sprint customers still hanging on over there," said T-Mobile CEO John Legere. "Those poor people have put up with the nation's slowest and smallest LTE network, and their carrier throwing out a deal-of-the-month for everyone except them."
    • The deal includes switching any Sprint number (postpaid, prepaid, Boost or Virgin Mobile) to a T-Mobile Simple Choice postpaid plan. It's effective starting Thursday.
    • Legere promised additional "gifts" coming to Verizon and AT&T customers over the next few weeks.
    | Wed, Nov. 25, 10:20 AM | 7 Comments
  • Fri, Nov. 20, 7:50 PM
    • Strategy Analytics is pointing to T-Mobile's (TMUS +1.9%) moves to steal more customers with its latest "Un-carrier" moves toward video streaming and bigger data buckets as likely to bear fruit in the holiday quarter.
    • By exempting video streaming from its data caps, the carrier is making a big early entrance in the next big battleground for the big four, Nitesh Patel writes, with the plan "removing consumers’ concern about blowing their data allowance or incurring competitors’ huge overage fees."
    • Meanwhile, don't overlook its network, says Strategy Analytics' Susan Welsh de Grimaldo; while Sprint talks up its network improvements, T-Mobile has made major improvements as it builds out 700 MHz spectrum.
    | Fri, Nov. 20, 7:50 PM | 5 Comments
  • Thu, Nov. 19, 3:38 PM
    • Concerns that T-Mobile's new "Binge On" free video streaming would run afoul of this year's FCC net neutrality regulations might be allayed a bit by the FCC chairman's upbeat stance on the offering.
    • "It's highly innovative and highly competitive," said Chairman Tom Wheeler of T-Mobile's plan, which exempts video streaming from subscribers' data limitations. While he says the agency is keeping an eye on the feature, the agency's new rules were intended to encourage competition and innovation, and "clearly this meets both of those criteria."
    • New FCC regulations generally call for evaluating carrier complaints on a case by case basis. Wheeler says the agency will apply a general-conduct standard to T-Mobile, looking at broad circumstances in evaluating its compliance.
    • T-Mobile (TMUS +1%) rolled out the video streaming plan at a Nov. 10 event; it's similar to its previous "Music Freedom" plan that exempted certain music streaming from data limits. Video takes a heavy data bite, but the carrier plans to serve up the feature by transcoding video requests down as far as to 480p.
    • Previously: T-Mobile's video 'binge': Partners, revenue effects, fretting net neutrality (Nov. 11 2015)
    • Previously: T-Mobile launches free video streaming at latest 'Un-carrier' event (Nov. 10 2015)
    | Thu, Nov. 19, 3:38 PM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 17, 1:51 PM
    | Tue, Nov. 17, 1:51 PM | Comment!
  • Fri, Nov. 13, 6:49 PM
    • Along with a price hike for its unlimited wireless phone plans on Sunday, Verizon (VZ -1.3%) is bringing back activation fees, instituting a $20 charge for new lines of service.
    • The carrier had waived the fees just a few months ago when it abandoned phone subsidies and service contracts; they were $40 at the time for customers who signed two-year deals.
    • AT&T (T -1.1%) charges a $15 fee for devices sold through its installment program, or $45 for a two-year contract or purchased device.
    • Verizon is raising the price of its unlimited data plan by $20/month on Sunday, a move in line with recent ones by its competitors. Sprint (S +0.7%) raised its own unlimited data plan by $10/month at the end of September.
    • At least Verizon waited until after T-Mobile's (TMUS +2%) "Un-carrier X" event to drop the news; T-Mo's John Legere is fond of lambasting competitors for broad line activation charges, though every carrier has one somewhere.
    | Fri, Nov. 13, 6:49 PM | 14 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 11, 7:43 PM
    • T-Mobile's (TMUS +1%) "Binge On" offering, rolled out to great fanfare during its Un-carrier X event, is making waves in an industry that has been moving rapidly toward video in a different way -- by selling traditional data bundles.
    • The video offering is similar to T-Mobile's Music Freedom initiative last year, where it exempted music streaming services from data limits. In a Q&A about the launch, T-Mobile COO John Sievert noted some "conspicuous missing" partners -- YouTube and Facebook weren't listed on screen -- but said the company would work to embrace more services; CEO John Legere said he was just waiting for YouTube to ask. Technically, the company says the holdup is that T-Mobile needs a signature on the stream to show its video, and YouTube doesn't provide that in all streams.
    • T-Mobile is accomplishing the move through some kind of transcoding for video optimization, but the baseline promise for video quality is "DVD or better," which the company is setting at 480p. CTO Neville Ray said it would get better from here with improving codecs.
    • Cowen's Colby Synesael thinks the offering could have a minimal if not positive effect on ARPU, but that it will also materially help net subscription growth and (contrary to other viewpoints) alleviate network congestion. He noted the "doubled" data plans came with a subtle price increase (for example, 3 GB for $60 went to 6 GB for $65).
    • "There's no money changing hands" is Legere's mantra for net neutrality concerns. "It's a feature," he says, and customers can turn it on or off at will. "We think it's highly net neutrality ... friendly." Critics have noted, though, that seen another way, exempting some services from data caps via so-called "zero rating" is effectively making other services subject to a cap -- the kind of prioritization the FCC seemed to be opposing.
    • Previously: T-Mobile launches free video streaming at latest 'Un-carrier' event (Nov. 10 2015)
    | Wed, Nov. 11, 7:43 PM | 6 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 10, 2:49 PM
    • At its 10th "Un-carrier" event, T-Mobile (TMUS -3.2%) is rolling out "Binge On" -- free video streaming without touching customers' high-speed data bucket.
    • Red Bull in hand, CEO John Legere promised to "disrupt the scam" over data overage charges and overbuying. He said the streaming was open to any service that wanted to come, but named 24 initial partners, including Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Sling TV, Watch ESPN, Showtime and more.
    • The company had heavily telegraphed that the announcement would target video, down to a Hollywood-ish magenta carpet that covering journalists walked down at the event
    • The move does raise the specter of net neutrality enforcement, though Legere said "This is not a net neutrality problem ... the providers don't pay, the customers don't pay ... and you can shut it off. It's complete customer choice."
    • The company also said it would double the data bucket in every plan. The move takes 1 GB, 3 GB and 5 GB plans to a default set of 2 GB, 6 GB and 10 GB respectively.
    | Tue, Nov. 10, 2:49 PM | 14 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 3, 12:28 PM
    • T-Mobile (TMUS +0.6%) is setting up for the spring spectrum auction with a debt-raising move.
    • The carrier has agreed to sell $2B in 6.5% senior notes in a registered public offering. The notes are due 2026 and the offering is expected to close on Thursday.
    • It will use the offering for general purposes "which may include acquisition of additional spectrum."
    • CEO John Legere has said the company would take part in the broadcast incentive airwaves auction, and take part aggressively.
    | Tue, Nov. 3, 12:28 PM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 2, 6:36 PM
    • With earnings in the books for three of the big four U.S. wireless firms, eyes turn to Sprint's results coming tomorrow morning.
    • But while Oppenheimer's Tim Horan expects Sprint to return to subscriber growth with a "modest" number on postpaid phone adds, T-Mobile (TMUS +1.1%) is the real attractive stock to buy on a pullback from its results.
    • The stock had a "messy" transition to lease accounting, but he notes enterprise value/EBITDA of just 6.3 times, in line with Verizon and AT&T, but with a 20% growth rate.
    • We continue to believe TMUS will maintain strong subscriber growth, and management was very optimistic about 4Q15 trends, with lower churn and postpaid ARPU stabilization the biggest positives," Horan says. "We believe that TMUS should see very strong EBITDA and FCF growth the next two years and at 6x estimated 2016 cash EBITDA it still looks attractive to us, despite our lower estimates.
    • Meanwhile, AT&T is the biggest loser of the four this quarter, he says, due to some weakness in subscriber numbers.
    • T-Mobile is down 7.2% since reporting an earnings miss last week.
    | Mon, Nov. 2, 6:36 PM | 4 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 27, 9:19 AM
    • T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) is off 1.7% premarket after missing expectations with Q3 results despite more solid subscriber growth.
    • The company swung to a profit with net income of $138M that came to $0.15/share and revenues of $7.85B missed by $440M despite growing nearly 7%. Service revenues were up 11% along with the customer growth. EBITDA of $1.9B grew 42% but missed an expected $1.93B.
    • The company yet again raised guidance for subscribers after 2.3M net customer adds. It added 1.1M branded postpaid net subscribers (843K branded postpaid phone net adds), along with 595K branded prepaid net adds. Branded postpaid phone churn was down 18 basis points to 1.46%.
    • It's guiding to add 3.8M-4.2M postpaid users for the full year, up from previous guidance for 3.4M-3.9M.
    • As with other companies in the price war, branded postpaid average revenue per user was under pressure, falling 3.7% Y/Y to $47.99.
    • Conference call to come at 10 a.m. ET (YouTube, webcast)
    • Press Release
    | Tue, Oct. 27, 9:19 AM | Comment!
  • Tue, Oct. 27, 7:42 AM
    • T-Mobile US (NASDAQ:TMUS): Q3 EPS of $0.15 may not be comparable to consensus of $0.30.
    • Revenue of $7.85B (+6.8% Y/Y) misses by $440M.
    • Press Release
    | Tue, Oct. 27, 7:42 AM | Comment!
  • Mon, Oct. 26, 5:30 PM
  • Wed, Oct. 21, 4:18 PM
    • Comcast (CMCSA -0.7%) is inching toward introducing its own wireless service, triggering part of a 2012 airwaves deal that lets it resell Verizon's (NYSE:VZ) service, Bloomberg reports.
    • Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said during the company's earnings call yesterday that unnamed cable companies had said they'd execute their right to resell Verizon airwaves as part of the deal where Verizon bought spectrum from a cable consortium.
    • Bloomberg says that Comcast plans a hybrid cellular/Wi-Fi service, not unlike Google's Project Fi and which would draw on Comcast's network of Wi-Fi hotspots that may be 10M strong.
    • With notification of Verizon, Comcast could start a market trial within six months and offer it commercially by this time next year.
    • Good for T-Mobile (TMUS -1.2%) either way? The carrier comes up in rumors about a Comcast merger -- though Comcast denied them earlier this year -- but in any cast, a Comcast entry would press the big two of AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon more. “This will be bad for the carriers, with the possible exception of T-Mobile, and good for cable,” says New Street Research's Jonathan Chaplin.
    • And T-Mobile chief John Legere has been not-too-subtly dropping lines about a merger with his company: "You really believe that the Comcast future in wireless is to be an MVNO with Verizon? I mean, give me a break."
    • Previously: Legere: T-Mobile will bid in auction; Verizon video a 'debacle' (Sep. 18 2015)
    • Previously: Comcast source denies interest in T-Mobile purchase (Jun. 17 2015)
    | Wed, Oct. 21, 4:18 PM | 9 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 20, 11:57 AM
    • Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY +2.8%) is working with Credit Suisse on a possible sale of its Dutch unit, T-Mobile Netherlands, that could bring up to €5B ($5.7B), Bloomberg reports.
    • That would be 7-8 times the unit's EBITDA, which last year was €630M on revenues of €1.55B.
    • Deutsche Telekom gets more than two-thirds of revenues from Germany and the U.S., so a sale of its Dutch unit could bring funds to cut debt ahead of what could be an aggressive move for spectrum by T-Mobile U.S. (TMUS -1.2%) in the spring.
    • In an acquisition-rich environment, bidders could include John Malone and Liberty Global (LBTYA -1.4%) as well as private equity. Liberty Global bought Belgium's Base from KPN for $1.4B in April.
    | Tue, Oct. 20, 11:57 AM | Comment!
  • Fri, Oct. 16, 10:33 AM
    • A review of U.S. wireless operators has Nomura making AT&T (T +0.9%) and T-Mobile (TMUS +2.1%) its top picks, with a more subdued outlook on Verizon (VZ, flat) and Sprint (S -1.1%).
    • The firm has Buy ratings on T and TMUS, and is Neutral on VZ and S.
    • The companies' reactions to a modest growth future vary widely, says Jeffrey Kvaal. Verizon and AT&T are taking two radically different paths into video, while Sprint and T-Mobile go after share gain -- helped by the fact that the incumbents are unlikely to lower their prices.
    • DirecTV synergies should more than offset some share loss at AT&T, and the firm faces modest video subscriber erosion, he says. Meanwhile, T-Mobile should be able to maintain share gains and EBITDA expansion with its aggressive approach.
    • As for Verizon, "visibility beyond a sideways 2016 is limited," and Sprint continues to face a balance sheet strain though its improving network and pricing models have put it "on the brink of a true revival story."
    • Price targets: For AT&T, $39 (closed yesterday at $33.49, 16.5% implied upside); for T-Mobile, $48 (closed yesterday at $39.94, 20% implied upside); for Verizon, $47 (closed yesterday at $44.67, 5% implied upside); for Sprint, $4 (closed yesterday at $4.27).
    | Fri, Oct. 16, 10:33 AM | 17 Comments
Company Description
T-Mobile US Inc provides wireless communication services in the postpaid, prepaid, and wholesale markets. The Company's products and services include voice, messaging, data services, wireless devices, smartphones and other mobile communication devices.