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T-Mobile US, Inc. (TMUS)

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  • Thu, Aug. 20, 6:02 PM
    • T-Mobile (TMUS -2.7%) and Beatport -- the streaming electronic music service that's part of SFX Entertainment (NASDAQ:SFXE) -- have teamed up (again) on a hub exclusive to T-Mobile subscribers.
    • The offering, called T-Mobile Backstage, features ticket giveaways and early-sale access and free music downloads montyly for those who are T-Mobile customers and registered Beatport users.
    • The move is the latest in a few partnerships between Beatport and T-Mobile.
    • Meanwhile, SFXE cratered again today, down 24.4%. The stock has lost more than 74% of its value in the past five days, in the wake of confirmation that a go-private deal with its CEO Robert Sillerman was off.
    • SFX is pursuing an Oct. 2 deadline for sale interest, and Beatport is an attractive prospect for being parted out from the company's festival business.
    • Previously: SFX Entertainment confirms go-private deal off, sets Oct. 2 deadline (Aug. 14 2015)
    | Thu, Aug. 20, 6:02 PM | Comment!
  • Tue, Aug. 18, 8:14 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) started the day strong and ended even stronger, +5.8%, in the wake of another share purchase by parent SoftBank.
    • Sprint's also making a high-profile move away from contracts and phone sales, and analyst Craig Moffett -- known for being a skeptic on Sprint's cash burn performance -- said today the carrier's switch to a leasing model is "an accounting change, and unfortunately it is exaggerating revenue and EBITDA."
    • He's got Sprint rated at Sell, with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile rated at Neutral.
    • "From the consumer's perspective, this is all much ado about nothing," Moffett said of the lease model. "You used to pay about $20 more per month in your service plan in return for getting the phone; now you pay about $20/month for the phone itself."
    • From the carrier's perspective, there's a huge difference in accounting, though, and "unfortunately, it has distorted the accounting for the whole sector. Because as you do the sale of phones, it accelerates revenue, and therefore accelerates EBITDA and earnings ... all the companies are now reporting inflated revenues ... and inflated profitability."
    • Sprint's gone one step further, he says, by leasing the phones and "taking the cost of the phones off the income statement entirely, move it to the balance sheet and that further inflates earnings. So Sprint is getting 50% of its EBITDA right now from accounting changes."
    • Meanwhile, CEO Marcelo Claure and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) CEO John Legere are mixing it up on Twitter again, this time arguing about a RootMetrics survey that put Sprint in third place in overall performance, ahead of T-Mobile.
    • Previously: Sprint's Claure to T-Mobile's Legere: Tired of 'Uncarrier bullshit' (Jul. 02 2015)
    | Tue, Aug. 18, 8:14 PM | 12 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 17, 4:53 PM
    • Another brick falls from the contract-wireless wall, as Sprint (S +10.1%) CEO Marcelo Claure tells The Wall Street Journal that the carrier will do away with contracts and shift to a leased-smartphone model by year's end.
    • Sprint introduced a lease option last year, and ending its subsidies means that leasing or upfront purchase will be the only ways to get a smartphone from the carrier.
    • The move leaves AT&T (T +0.5%) as the only carrier of the U.S. big four that is still offering to subsidize a smartphone buy. Verizon (VZ +0.1%) made its major move earlier this month, and all are following in T-Mobile's (TMUS +1.9%) footsteps on dropping contracts.
    • Earlier, Sprint rolled out its "iPhone Forever" plan that served as a precursor to the model: For $22/month over and above the usual monthly fees, customers can upgrade to the latest iPhone as soon as it becomes available, rather than once every two years. Claure says parent SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY -1%) will help it monetize traded-in phones.
    | Mon, Aug. 17, 4:53 PM | 20 Comments
  • Wed, Aug. 12, 11:07 AM
    • Masayoshi Son's double-down on the future of Sprint (S -6.4%) came after he and another top executive at SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY), Nikesh Arora, floated the idea of selling the company to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and to France's Altice (OTCPK:ATCEY) -- but getting no uptake, according to The Wall Street Journal.
    • "I should go back to where I was focused," he says -- the Internet side of SoftBank -- though a long slog is ahead yet, if he's to turn around a company that hasn't turned an annual profit since 2006.
    • Son was banking on a merger with T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) and calls his misjudgment of U.S. regulators "one of the biggest mistakes in my life." Now, the focus is on improving the carrier's network as hopes for restarting a merger push with T-Mobile are on hold until after the 2016 presidential election.
    • Son appeared on Sprint's earnings call last week to reiterate excitement about the company's future under Marcelo Claure, who Son calls "my soul mate ... a street fighter sharing the underdog experience like myself."
    • But fixing Sprint is turning out to be staggeringly expensive. Sprint doesn't have the money for a once-and-for-all fix, Son concedes, and SoftBank's covenants with banks prevent sinking more cash in.
    • Ominously, SoftBank has recently invested $1B in a handful of South and Southeast Asian start-ups, and plans to invest more than $10B in India alone.
    | Wed, Aug. 12, 11:07 AM | 38 Comments
  • Thu, Aug. 6, 12:07 PM
    • In a unanimous vote, the FCC denied T-Mobile's (NYSE:TMUS) request for a larger spectrum set-aside during the government's wireless airwaves auction next year.
    • The carrier -- now the third-largest by customers in the U.S. -- had lobbied for a larger chunk of spectrum to be set aside for smaller carriers (i.e., not AT&T and Verizon) in the low-band auction, an area of the spectrum that the two giants dominate.
    • There will be a set-aside, just not the 40 MHz that T-Mobile was seeking, in what is seen as a compromise by the FCC's Democrats after last year's vote to establish reserve spectrum.
    • The FCC is working to keep the auction on track for the first quarter, and it's currently expected March 29. The agency is finalizing bidding procedures.
    • Wireless Carriers today: T -1.3%; VZ -0.5%; TMUS -0.5%; S +2.4%.
    | Thu, Aug. 6, 12:07 PM | 9 Comments
  • Mon, Aug. 3, 6:25 PM
    • ProShares is shuttering its UltraShort Telecommunications ETF (TLL -5.7%), the fund that bets against big telecoms like AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), due to lack of interest.
    • The fund -- a double-short fund working on the inverse of the Dow Jones U.S. Select Telecommunications Index -- will close after the market on Sept. 14. Trading had slowed to about 100 shares on average.
    • Top components of Dow Jones' telecom index that the fund bet against are AT&T, Verizon, SBA Communications (NASDAQ:SBAC), Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT), CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), Frontier (NASDAQ:FTR) and Sprint (NYSE:S).
    • TLL was down 7.6% over the past six months. The iShares U.S. Telecommunications ETF (NYSEARCA:IYZ) -- tracking the same index from the other direction -- is down 0.5% YTD.
    | Mon, Aug. 3, 6:25 PM | 11 Comments
  • Thu, Jul. 30, 3:22 PM
    • On T-Mobile's (NYSE:TMUS) earnings call today, CEO John Legere expounded on consolidation and where he thinks technology is leading, signaling that he's still open to tie-ups: After all, he expects more players to get into wireless service, whether it's Dish Network with its spectrum haul, or Google with Project Fi, or even Comcast.
    • "As the cable players use Wi-Fi as a capability to serve their subscribers ... you know that a player like a cable company and a player like T-Mobile [together] ... is better," Legere said. Customers will look at their accounts, and say "I have Comcast, and I have T-Mobile ... Why don't these guys do something together" to provide a seamless experience. Combinations like that are questions of "not if, but when," Legere said.
    • He took time to tweak Sprint again, criticizing its new plan: "Sprint's $80 all-in plan is the return of contracts ... We will not be moving in that direction."
    • With regard to video -- and particularly Verizon's upcoming Go90 mobile service -- he took a cautious stance and said T-Mobile would be in that area if customers wanted it. "If you interview 10 millennials in Times Square, how panting are they for Go90? ... Let's wait and see."
    • That's another partnering opportunity, he said, looking forward into a world where content is moving to the Internet even as the Internet is going mobile: "Content to the Internet, Internet to the mobile devices, it's a potential opportunity for T-Mobile to partner, ally, merge with" other players.
    • Shares are now up 5.3% this afternoon following the strong report.
    • Previously: T-Mobile up 1.7% early after solid Q2 beat, raised customer guidance (Jul. 30 2015)
    | Thu, Jul. 30, 3:22 PM | 3 Comments
  • Thu, Jul. 30, 9:14 AM
    • T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) is up 1.7% premarket after Q2 results where it beat profit expectations soundly while growing revenues and built up customers -- thanks to aggressive competition as it continues to trade profit margin for subscriber growth.
    • The carrier raised its full-year projection for customer growth again, after adding a net 2.1M customers (1M postpaid). It now sees 2015 total branded mainstream adds of 3.4M-3.9M customers, up from a previous 3M-3.5M. Churn fell to 1.3%, from a year-ago 1.5%.
    • Profts fell to $361M from a year-ago $391M, but swung from a $63M loss in Q1. Adjusted EBITDA of $1.8B (up 25%) beat an expected $1.767B. Service revenues of $6.1B were up 12% Y/Y.
    • Of the 1M postpaid net adds, 760K were branded postpaid phone net adds, and the company again expects to capture all of the industry's postpaid phone growth.
    • Branded postpaid phone ARPU was up 3.8% from Q1, to $48.19, mainly due to noncash net revenue deferrals for its Data Stash offering. That's down 2.3% Y/Y, though. Branded postpaid average billings per user was $63.29 (up 5.9%) and average revenue per account was $113.50 (up 6%). Meanwhile, branded prepaid ARPU was up 1.8% to $37.83.
    • The company reiterated guidance for full-year EBITDA of $6.8B-$7.2B, in line with expectations, and for cash capex of $4.4B-$4.7B.
    • Conference call to come at 11 a.m. ET.
    • Press Release; Tables
    | Thu, Jul. 30, 9:14 AM | Comment!
  • Wed, Jul. 29, 1:07 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) is leading major U.S. telecom gainers for a second day, +5.9%, as it rolls out a new family plan in response to a family-plan price cut from T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS)
    • Switchers to Sprint are being offered four lines with unlimited talk/text and 10 GB of high-speed data for $100/month, which it says will save families $480/year over Verizon's comparable plan, and $720/year over AT&T's.
    • For data burners, Sprint says families can choose a 40 GB plan for $20 more per month. It continues to offer paying off old phones/contracts to enable switchers.
    • Sprint's now up 12.2% over the past two days in coming off a 52-week low on Monday.
    • Previously: Sprint and T-Mobile: Who's No. 3 (round two) (Jul. 28 2015)
    • Previously: Sprint rebounds, +6.8% off 52-week lows (Jul. 28 2015)
    • Previously: T-Mobile cuts price, increases data on family plans (Jul. 14 2015)
    | Wed, Jul. 29, 1:07 PM | 6 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 17, 3:14 PM
    • T-Mobile (TMUS -1.6%) will pay a $17.5M fine to the FCC to settle a case over two 911 outages (separate but related) last August, the largest fine for an emergency-services disruption.
    • The outages were nationwide, meaning that 50M customers were prevented from reaching emergency help for hours. An FCC probe found that T-Mobile failed to alert the affected 911 call centers in a timely manner.
    • It's the fourth such case at the FCC this year, following settlements with CenturyLink, Intrado Communications and Verizon over an April 2014 six-hour outage.
    | Fri, Jul. 17, 3:14 PM | Comment!
  • Thu, Jul. 16, 3:57 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) has jumped this hour, up 3.7%, on talk that a discussed merger between Dish Network and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) is stalling out on concerns about valuation and structure, Bloomberg is saying.
    • A plan to merge Sprint and T-Mobile had faded last year on regulatory concerns, and since then T-Mobile has been linked to a number of players in the industry.
    • Many Sprint investors are calling for a new look at a Sprint/T-Mobile merger, considering the gap between the two and U.S. industry leaders AT&T and Verizon.
    • Previously: Dish slips 3%: FCC set to reject discounts, T-Mobile merger stalling (Jul. 16 2015)
    • Previously: T-Mobile and Dish Network: Other options, other suitors (Jun. 12 2015)
    | Thu, Jul. 16, 3:57 PM | 17 Comments
  • Thu, Jul. 16, 3:46 PM
    • Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) has tumbled just before the close -3.1%, on reports coming over the wires that the FCC is ready to reject the $3.3B in spectrum-auction discounts that it earned earlier this year, and that a merger with T-Mobile (TMUS -1.1%) has stalled out.
    • The agency has reviewed the $13.3B in bids that Dish won using affiliated small-business entities and reportedly determined the DEs don't quality for a discount, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
    • T-Mobile and Dish weren't moving that fast on a tie-up, and now the merger may be stalled out on concerns about valuation and structure, Bloomberg reports.
    • A deal may not happen this year as the companies soon need to turn their attention to the early-2016 spectrum auction -- either bidding as one company, or still two.
    | Thu, Jul. 16, 3:46 PM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 10, 6:42 PM
    • T-Mobile (TMUS +0.6%) and Dish Network (DISH +2.7%) entered into merger talks last month in a media/telecom industry boiling with consolidation, but who would benefit more from the tie-up?
    • Barclays' Amir Rozwadowski (while laboring not to comment on the specific deal) hints that T-Mobile may have the bigger benefit in getting their hands on Dish's spectrum haul.
    • More and more of us are consuming mobile video, and that calls for "bigger highways," he says: "When you look at where T-Mobile's need will be -– not over the next one to two years, because they definitely have a strong spectrum portfolio to support themselves -– but when you look at the data bandwidth growth over the next five to 10 years, there is certainly an attractiveness to having more spectrum." (video)
    • Asked whether T-Mobile CEO John Legere needs to do a deal after failing to tie up with AT&T or Sprint: "I think the question really is, how much -- grand ideas does he have for the business over the longer term?"
    • Last week, analyst Craig Moffett expressed skepticism the deal would go through and that it wasn't about synergies: "Although it was touted as Dish buying T-Mobile, it would really be T-Mobile buying Dish's spectrum through a complicated transaction."
    | Fri, Jul. 10, 6:42 PM | 7 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 10, 2:43 PM
    • Sprint (NYSE:S) is down 2.2%, and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) up 0.6%, as Stifel Nicolaus launches new coverage on the U.S. wireless sector and rates both stocks at Hold.
    • Analyst John Karidis says T-Mobile faces uncertainty in acquiring low-band spectrum (and the company has been vocal about pressing for bigger airwave reserves in the upcoming broadcast incentive auction), and a threat from the bigger carriers pushing for mobile video service.
    • In the case of Sprint, though, he lacks confidence the firm can increase its value regardless of its relative spectrum wealth, and that it's "markedly tougher" to forecast free cash flow because of the difficulty of figuring profit and cash timing. He does note minority shareholders "are too battle hardened to give up on the stock at this price."
    • Sprint is trading today at $3.82 after hitting a 52-week low of $3.74; T-Mobile is at $39.01, off a 52-week high of $40.77.
    | Fri, Jul. 10, 2:43 PM | 5 Comments
  • Thu, Jul. 9, 9:40 AM
    | Thu, Jul. 9, 9:40 AM | 25 Comments
  • Wed, Jul. 8, 7:25 PM
    • On a down day for U.S. markets at large and the sector in particular, Sprint (NYSE:S) still led telecom decliners, -8.3% (its biggest one-day drop in eight months) on a day where NYSE trading was interrupted for more than three hours.
    • Analyst Craig Moffett thinks the government may take a different stance than it did before on a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) -- if Sprint "really is in severe financial distress, as we think they will be within a relatively short period of time."
    • A Sprint/T-Mobile tie-up, though, wouldn't happen until after the next presidential election, if at all, he said.
    • Asked about merger talk between T-Mobile and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), meanwhile, Moffett thinks that's "unlikely" and "not about the business synergy between two businesses."
    • "Although it was touted as Dish buying T-Mobile, it would really be T-Mobile buying Dish's spectrum through a complicated transaction."
    • This spring, Moffett has pointed to cash burn in saying that if T-Mobile goes to another acquirer, "Sprint's in a world of hurt" and running out of good options. "At the current rate of cash burn, the company will run out of cash in a year."
    • Previously: T-Mobile and Dish Network: Other options, other suitors (Jun. 12 2015)
    | Wed, Jul. 8, 7:25 PM | 40 Comments
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Company Description
T-Mobile US Inc provideswireless communication servicesin the postpaid, prepaid, and wholesale markets.The Company's products and services includevoice, messaging, data services,wireless devices, smartphones and other mobile communication devices.