T-Mobile US, Inc.NASDAQ
T-Mobile Momentum Remains: Accumulate Before Next Leg Higher
Alpha Gen Capital
Alpha Gen Capital
T-Mobile's Reinvigorated Brand And Momentum Accelerates
Alpha Gen Capital
Alpha Gen Capital
Thu, Aug. 18, 9:50 AM
- T-Mobile (TMUS -0.3%) used a surprise conference call today to unveil its "Un-carrier 12" move, an "end to data plans" with a single unlimited-data offer price.
- T-Mobile One is the company's move to get a single unlimited-LTE price in front of all customers. It costs $70/month for a first line, with a second at $50 and other lines at $20, meaning a family of four pays $40/line so long as they select autopay (with a $5/month/line surcharge without autopay).
- In a first, tablets are included on the unlimited-data plan for just $20 per tablet per month.
- The "catch" is that, in an outgrowth of the company's Music Freedom and Binge On offerings, video is unlimited just at standard definition; upgrading the video to HD costs another $25/month. And the new plan includes mobile hotstpot usage, but at 2G speeds.
- The company's also duplicating its fair-use policy from its Simple Choice plans, where users who use more than 26 GB of high-speed data per month (the top 3% of users) may see speeds throttled after that.
Wed, Aug. 17, 1:32 PM
- Detailing its report on new merger chatter around Sprint (S -1.5%) and T-Mobile (TMUS +0.5%), Bloomberg notes that Masayoshi Son -- the mogul at the head of SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY -2.3%) who abandoned a merger bid before -- will likely try the combination again if he thinks a new head of the FCC is amenable.
- That agency head holds key power, with the threat of putting such a proposed deal into an administrative hearing, which would postpone action indefinitely. A similar threat caused Comcast to drop its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable. Son has indicated he would legally challenge any Justice Dept. opposition.
- Shares of Sprint and T-Mobile made positive moves of 3% and 2.5% respectively in the span of a few minutes before pulling back.
- Son could pursue the argument that Sprint will never be a legitimate fourth competitor in the market alone, but that may not fly, says Public Knowledge's Gene Kimmelman. “You would need to see a pretty significant reversal of fortunes across both companies -- Sprint and T-Mobile -- for the antitrust enforcers to change their views ... You’d have to see a clear demonstration of a company in jeopardy.”
- A Trump administration, though, could mean "a whole new ball game" with companies like Sprint rolling the dice, Kimmelman says.
- “The rule of thumb is that Democratic administrations will allow an industry to consolidate down to four players, and Republicans will let an industry go down to three,” says analyst Roger Entner. “Masa has to hope that the next president’s name is Donald."
- Talks between the two companies are forbidden as of now, with the FCC's broadcast incentive spectrum auction going on (and looking more likely to run into 2017).
Wed, Aug. 17, 12:44 PM
- Sprint (NYSE:S), down nearly 3% on the day, made a midday spike back to the flat line on yet another resurgence of merger rumors -- though, just like that, the spike is gone and Sprint is off 1.8% again.
- Bloomberg is saying that Masayoshi Son of Sprint owner SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY) is still "holding out hope" to combine Sprint with T-Mobile (TMUS -0.2%) -- which also spiked into positive ground before an immediate pullback.
- Conventional wisdom has it that the previous outbreaks of Sprint/T-Mobile rumors were put to rest with no possibility of a combination at least until a new U.S. presidential administration.
Tue, Aug. 16, 10:26 AM
- A major FCC auction of wireless airwaves just entered its second phase.
- The forward auction in the FCC's broadcast incentive spectrum sale has begun, with Comcast (CMCSA -0.1%) and Dish Network (DISH -0.8%) among those joining the usual spectrum suspects: AT&T (T -0.9%), Verizon (VZ -0.6%), and T-Mobile (TMUS +0.1%), but not Sprint (S +0.4%), which is sitting this out. Of about 100 parties eligible to bid, 62 have been certified by the FCC.
- That follows the reverse auction, where broadcasters set up blocks of spectrum they'll be selling to be reallocated for wireless carrier use.
- This phase represents a challenge, now that the reverse auction's price has been set at $86.4B. With costs, the FCC needs to raise $88B; if the forward auction doesn't reach that height, the reverse auction will need to be reopened to lower its price, which would also cut spectrum sold -- and likely drag the entire process into 2017.
- Broadcast players: SBGI, EVC, NXST, CBS, MEG
- Previously: Next phase of FCC spectrum auction likely to start mid-July (Jul. 01 2016)
Thu, Aug. 11, 7:29 PM
- AT&T (T +0.4%) is joining prepaid rivals in bringing family-plan options to its pay-ahead service.
- The company will offer discounted multi-line plans on its GoPhone line, for customers who buy its $45/month or $60/month plans.
- Customers can receive a $5/month discount on additional lines, up to $20/month of discounts (five lines total). The $45 plan already offers unlimited talk/text and 3 GB of high-speed data, while the $60 plan has 6 GB of data instead.
- The new discounts bring AT&T more in line with multi-line prepaid plans offered by Boost Mobile (S -1%) and MetroPCS (TMUS -0.8%).
Wed, Aug. 10, 2:35 PM
- In another victory for broadband Internet providers, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of two states seeking to set limits on municipal broadband networks.
- The FCC had sought to pre-empt state laws that put onerous restrictions on cities' rights to build and expand their own high-speed networks -- which can reduce demand from private-sector Internet service providers.
- The appeals court said the FCC couldn't block Tennessee and North Carolina from restricting cities that were seeking to expand their muni networks.
- Updated 2:45 p.m.: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a statement: "The efforts of communities wanting better broadband should not be thwarted by the political power of those who, by protecting their monopoly, have failed to deliver acceptable service at an acceptable price. The FCC’s mandate is to make sure that Americans have access to the best possible broadband."
- U.S. ISPs/carriers: VZ, T, CMCSA, OTCPK:ATCEY, S, TMUS, WIN, CTL, FTR, CHTR, CCOI
Mon, Aug. 8, 2:01 PM
- Swelling demand for a new iPhone is likely not only to boost Apple, but also to send subscribers to T-Mobile (TMUS -0.2%) and Sprint (S +0.6%), according to a survey from New Street Research.
- Some 10% of the firm's respondents suggest they plan to switch carriers in the next few months, suggesting industry churn of about 2.5% in Q4, it said.
- And switching activity benefits the "share takers" vs. the share losers -- AT&T (T -0.6%) and Verizon (VZ -0.1%).
- Those two sector leaders have been focusing on more profitable customers, whereas Sprint and T-Mobile are trying to take customer share from the big two.
- Some 22% of respondents said they would buy the new iPhone upon release or within the next few months; of those 5% plan to switch carriers in doing so. And 25% of respondents are specifically waiting for a new iPhone to upgrade their device.
Fri, Jul. 29, 10:27 AM
- After losing a decision from a three-judge panel in June, challengers of the FCC's Open Internet order (led by trade group USTelecom) are requesting the full Court of Appeals for D.C. to reverse course and consider striking down the order.
- USTelecom, joined by CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), is objecting to the net neutrality orders that would regulate Internet providers as common carriers under Title II. It's requested an en banc review of the legal challenges at that court.
- Those two are joined in the challenges by wireless group CTIA as well as cable association NCTA.
- Legal challenges to the rules mounted last year starting the day after the FCC voted on the matter.
- Related tickers: T, VZ, TMUS, S, CMCSA, CHTR, OTCPK:ATCEY, CTL, FTR, CCOI, DISH
Wed, Jul. 27, 12:28 PM
- T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) is rebounding strong, up 1.5% after setting new 52-week highs this morning on Q2 results with revenues and user gains way up.
- Profits slipped, but the company once again took subscribers from rivals. Of 1.9M total net adds, it logged 890,000 branded postpaid net adds, 646,000 of those lucrative phone adds. It's the 10th straight quarter that it's led the industry in branded postpaid phone net adds, T-Mobile says.
- Postpaid phone churn fell 5 basis points Y/Y to a record low 1.27%. It also added 476,000 branded prepaid net adds.
- Service revenues grew 12.1% to $6.9B and overall revenue rose to $9.2B.
- The strong customer numbers prompted T-Mobile to upgrade subs guidance for the year: It now sees branded postpaid net adds of 3.4M-3.8M, up from a previous 3.2M-3.6M. It's also narrowing its adjusted EBITDA target to $9.8B-$10.1B (vs. consensus for $9.87B).
- It's expecting cash capex for 2016 of $4.5B-$4.8B.
- Press Release
Wed, Jul. 27, 7:34 AM
Tue, Jul. 26, 5:30 PM
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Mon, Jul. 25, 3:38 PM
- T-Mobile (TMUS -0.9%) workers are keeping up a (very early) move for unionization with the opening of a field office in Kansas.
- Only a small number of workers have signed up at the Wichita, Kansas, office. But it's open to spread the word about the union and its issues, including pay equity between newer and older workers and shift scheduling, according to Angela Melvin, who's helping the effort.
- Unionization has been on the decline in telecommunications, and is more prevalent at the older incumbents (AT&T and Verizon). But a new deal for Verizon employees that came after one of the longest U.S. strikes in recent years has encouraged unionization-friendly employees.
- T-Mobile is set to report earnings before the opening bell on Wednesday.
Fri, Jul. 22, 5:04 PM
- As other providers move away from unlimited-data plans, Sprint (S +0.4%) is quietly testing capless plans in a handful of markets at $60/month -- cheaper than it or even T-Mobile (TMUS +1.7%) offers currently.
- The "Unlimited Freedom" plan is reportedly being advertised in Milwaukee and Boston at $60/month with a second line for $40/month and additional lines at $25/month; Oklahoma and parts of Arizona are seeing that offer at $50/month for each of the first two lines and extras at $25/month.
- Sprint currently offers unlimited plans at $75/month for first, $45/month for second and extras at $30/month.
- In another positioning against T-Mobile, it looks to be throttling streaming data for those subscribers, similar to how T-Mobile runs its Binge On and Music Freedom video and music-streaming offerings.
Tue, Jul. 19, 1:13 PM
- The typical metrics that telecom investors examine may not matter as much to their holdings as a favorable macroeconomic environment, industry analyst Craig Moffett writes.
- That's accounting for the price war as well as common bellwethers like average revenue per user, he says. In most industries, developments like telecom has seen in the past year (Verizon's (VZ -0.5%) recent moves to reset pricing; T-Mobile's (TMUS -0.3%) un-carrier promotions; aggressive phone financing revamps) would spur meaty debates about valuation and growth: "But telecom isn't most industries. It has now been a full decade since fundamentals were last a major part of the telco equity performance story (good or bad)."
- Fundamentals may matter again soon, ahead of a new iPhone introduction (that could benefit T-Mobile and Sprint (S -3.9%) more than AT&T and Verizon), and AT&T's (T -0.2%) full integration of DirecTV finances.
- But in the meantime, macro factors are still prevalent: "When interest rates are falling and the dollar is rising, the story appears to have been pretty straightforward, after all: Buy telecom."
Thu, Jul. 14, 5:49 PM
- Never one to miss out on a marketing opportunity, T-Mobile (TMUS -0.4%) has found its approach to the Pokémon Go game phenomenon by promising free data for the gamers.
- The company is using its next "T-Mobile Tuesday" to offer free, unlimited data ("for a full year") on Pokémon Go, so playing the game won't touch users' data buckets (along with music services in the carrier's Music Freedom offering and videos in its "Binge On" product).
- The carrier's also promising a sweepstakes for five U.S. trips and 250 winners of $100 in "PokéCoins," along with free Lyft rides and a Wendy's Frosty.
- For its part, after a dip yesterday, Nintendo ADRs (OTCPK:NTDOY) finished up 15.2% today, and the stock was up 15.9% in Tokyo. ADRs are up 72.2% in the past five trading days.
Thu, Jul. 14, 3:38 PM
- The FCC voted unanimously today to open up four bands of frequencies above 24 GHz for 5G wireless service, setting the stage for exploiting next-generation technologies for mobile transmission.
- That's nearly 11 GHz of spectrum (3.85 GHz in licensed bands at 28 GHz, 37 GHz and 39 GHz, and 7 GHz in an unlicensed band between 64 GHz and 71 GHz).
- The agency says companies will be able to exploit the spectrum for "fiber-fast" capabilities, up to 100 times faster than current 4G networks.
- In addition, the agency pledged to push for opening up more millimeter wave bands as quickly as it can, via a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that looks to apply today's rules to another 18 GHz of spectrum (in eight additional high-frequency bands)
- In related stocks: (T +0.5%); (VZ -0.2%); (TMUS -0.5%); (S +1.9%); (DISH +1%); (CMCSA +0.4%); (STRP +5.7%); (GSAT -1.2%)