Oct. 8, 2013, 2:47 PM
- Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY.PK) is selling $3.1B worth of T-Mobile USA (TMUS -0.4%) bonds in its possession. The debt, which DT obtained through the MetroPCS deal, consists of 2019 and 2021 notes worth $1.25B apiece, and 2023 notes worth $600M.
- DT, which (like many European carriers) is saddled with a huge debt load, only says it will use the proceeds for general corporate purposes. T-Mobile USA had $9B in debt on its balance sheet at the end of Q2, and $2.4B in cash/investments.
Oct. 4, 2013, 6:12 PM
- T-Mobile (TMUS) will use the ticketed NYC event to unveil the third part of its self-proclaimed strategy to upend the U.S. mobile industry. Singer Shakira has been hired to assist with the efforts.
- The first part of T-Mobile's strategy involved rolling out contract-free service plans that eschewed traditional phone subsidies in favor of monthly installments. The second part involved the launch of the carrier's Jump smartphone early upgrade plan. The results of T-Mobile's moves have been pretty good thus far.
Oct. 2, 2013, 12:47 PM
- Droid-Life, evleaks, and others report Target is set to launch a T-Mobile-powered (TMUS +0.2%) prepaid service called Brightspot.
- Brightspot is expected to launch on Saturday, and to feature monthly plans respectively costing $35, $50, and $65. The first plan offers unlimited voice/text, but no data; the second adds 1GB of 4G data, and the third 4GB.
- T-Mobile has long had a disproportionately large prepaid base, and the MetroPCS merger made it even larger. While T-Mobile works to expand MetroPCS' reach, AT&T and Verizon have been busy revamping their prepaid offerings.
- Previous: U.S. prepaid smartphone sales growing rapidly
Oct. 1, 2013, 9:33 AM
- Cree (CREE +6.6%) has been upgraded to Buy by Canaccord.
- Agilent (A -0.6%) has been cut to Hold by Stifel two week after the company announced plans to split into two companies.
- PC Connection (PCCC -0.5%) has been started at Buy by Canaccord.
- Computer Task Group (CTG -1.6%) has been upgraded to Buy by B. Riley.
- 1-800-Flowers (FLWS +3.9%) has been upgraded to Buy by Brean.
- T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.1%) has been upgraded to Outperform by Oppenheimer.
Sep. 30, 2013, 4:33 PM
- In addition to providing fresh global smartphone sales estimates, Kantar Worldpanel has provided estimates for U.S. carrier smartphone sales. Verizon (VZ -0.7%) is the big winner: Kantar thinks the nation's top carrier accounted for 37.1% of U.S. smartphone sales in the June-August timeframe, +520 bps Y/Y.
- On the other hand, Kantar thinks AT&T's (T -0.5%) share fell 680 bps to 21.7%, and Sprint's (S +1%) share 620 bps to 14.6%. T-Mobile USA (TMUS -0.3%), its fortunes recently improving thanks to iPhone sales and new service plans, is assigned a 13.2% share, +110 bps. Curiously, "Other" carriers are given a 13.4% share, +500 bps.
- AT&T recently announced it expects its Q3 smartphone upgrades to be up Y/Y, and that it will add 1M smartphone subs during the quarter. However, it also predicted upgrades will drop on a Y/Y basis in Q4.
- Smartphone users made up 64.4% of Verizon's postpaid base at the end of Q2, up from 61.4% at the end of Q1. That figure still trailed AT&T's 73%. Higher smartphone sales hurt near-term margins, but also boost ARPUs by migrating subs to costlier data plans.
Sep. 25, 2013, 11:40 AM
- During a Goldman conference talk, T-Mobile USA (TMUS +2.3%) CFO Braxton Carter called a merger between his company and Sprint (S -2.3%) the "logical ultimate combination." But he also admitted the current M&A regulatory environment is "tough."
- T-Mobile and Sprint have been bleeding share in recent years to bigger rivals Verizon and AT&T. However, T-Mobile has begun to reverse its fortunes with the help of an iPhone deal, contract-free plans, and its Jump smartphone upgrade program. Sprint is betting aggressive pricing and a rapid 4G buildout will help it do the same.
- Regulators may not be the only reason a T-Mobile/Sprint deal would be challenging in the near-term. T-Mobile is in the midst of digesting MetroPCS, and Sprint is fresh off acquiring Clearwire and merging with SoftBank (SFTBF.PK).
- Separately, SoftBank has extended Sprint CEO Dan Hesse's contract through July 2018.
Sep. 16, 2013, 12:17 PM
- The program, called Sprint One Up (S +0.1%), will reportedly launch on Sep. 20. It will allow Sprint subs to obtain a new smartphone for no money down and $27/month.
- Interestingly, they'll also get a $15/month discount on Sprint's Unlimited voice/text/data plan ($65 instead of $80). Users will be able to trade in their phones after a year. Existing subs who have been on contract for a year or longer will be eligible.
- In a leaked slide, Sprint asserts a One Up sub will pay $1,192 in total phone and service fees in the first 12 months, $228 less than a subscriber to T-Mobile USA's (TMUS +0.2%) Jump upgrade plan and over $500 less than subscribers to AT&T's (T +0.6%) Next plan or Verizon's (VZ +0.9%) Edge plan; AT&T and Verizon's early upgrade pricing has already been criticized.
- SoftBank (SFTBF.PK, SFTBY.PK) has promised Sprint will price its services aggressively going forward. Sprint overhauled its service plans shortly after the SoftBank deal closed, but the price cuts offered weren't as steep as some expected.
Sep. 12, 2013, 5:49 PM
- T-Mobile USA (TMUS) CMO Mike Sievert says the #4 U.S. carrier had a record share of gross postpaid subscriber adds in August. T-Mobile's contract/subsidy-free plans and Jump smartphone upgrade plan likely had something to do with that. Efforts to grow MetroPCS' reach may have also played a role.
- T-Mobile is coming off a Q2 in which it reported 688K postpaid net adds (better than expectations) after steadily bleeding subs in 2012, thanks in part to its failure to carry the iPhone until this April.
- The carrier is hoping to keep up the momentum by temporarily offering discounts on the latest iPhones. For the next few weeks, the 5S will go for $99 down and $22.91/month for 2 years, and the 5C will go for no money down and $22/month for 2 years.
Sep. 6, 2013, 9:23 AM
- In a coverage launch for Internet stocks, Barclays has started Zillow (Z), YELP, and Shutterfly (SFLY) at Overweight, Zynga (ZNGA), OpenTable (OPEN), HomeAway (AWAY,), and InterActiveCorp (IACI) at Equal Weight, and Vistaprint (VPRT) at Underweight. Z +1%. YELP +4.1% to new post-IPO highs. Deutsche started coverage on Yelp at Buy after the close yesterday.
- Canaccord has started Splunk (SPLK), Datawatch (DWCH), and ServiceNow (NOW) at Buy.
- EZchip (EZCH) has been upgraded to Buy by Chardan Capital.
- VeriFone (PAY) has been upgraded to Outperform by Wedbush following its FQ3 beat and solid FQ4 guidance. PAY +7.3%.
- T-Mobile USA (TMUS) has been upgraded to Outperform by William Blair. TMUS +0.9%.
- InterXion (INXN) has been cut to Market Perform by Oppenheimer.
Aug. 30, 2013, 8:26 AM
- AT&T (T) is taking aim at the no-contract mobile market. The company plans to roll out its Aio Wireless brand nationwide starting next month.
- The move puts T-Mobile (TMUS) in the cross-hairs. The magenta carrier's "Uncarrier" strategy has been credited with cauterizing customer losses. T-Mobile added 688K customers in Q2, the first postpaid gain in 16 quarters.
- Providing some color: T-Mobile sued AT&T last week, claiming that the color of Aio's branding is an attempt at a "free ride from T-Mobile’s success as America’s Un-carrier by using magenta in its marketing."
- AT&T has floated the Aio Wireless brand in 11 southern U.S. cities to date.
Aug. 22, 2013, 12:39 PM
- Jefferies reiterates its Buy rating on T-Mobile (TMUS +1.5%) and hikes the PT to $28 from $25. Analyst Thomas Seitz: Q2 "results were outstanding ... the disruptive 'Uncarrier' strategy likely has started yielding positive results." T-Mobile added 688K customers in the quarter, the first postpaid gain in 16 quarters.
- Seitz maintains a Hold rating on Boingo Wireless (WIFI -4.5%) and raises his PT to $7.50 from $6.50. Boingo "continued to further diversify its rev stream away from retail subscription & single-use segments & towards wholesale & advertising ... which gives us incrementally more confidence in the company's strategy."
- Analyst Cynthia Meng reiterates a Buy rating on China Telecom (CHA -0.7%) but lowers her PT to $60 from $64 on reduced expectations of FY 2013 and 2014 earnings (0.9% and 5% respectively) following the company's 1H results.
Aug. 19, 2013, 12:38 PM
- Some T-Mobile USA (TMUS -1.6%) customers saw their service temporarily interrupted on Friday evening. Shares are trading moderately lower today.
- CEO John Legere apologized for the outage on Twitter. "We had intermittent issues in some locations. I apologize for any inconvenience this caused to customers."
Aug. 14, 2013, 5:31 PM
- T-Mobile (TMUS -2.5%) will sell $500M in 5.25% senior notes due 2018.
- The offering is scheduled to close Aug. 21.
- Bloomberg reported the private offering in the morning, citing a source who thinks the notes could be rated Ba3 (implying an interest rate of 5.65% at the current 5-year note rate).
- This will be T-Mobile's first debt offering since the carrier's merger with MetroPCS in May. The interest rate stands to be substantially lower than that for MetroPCS' legacy debt.
Aug. 12, 2013, 9:38 AM
- F5 (FFIV +3.2%) has been upgraded to Overweight by Barclays.
- NetApp (NTAP +1.1%) has been upgraded to Neutral by Baird ahead of Wednesday's FQ1 report.
- T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.2%) has been upgraded to Market Perform by Oppenheimer following last Thursday's Q2 report.
- Broadcom (BRCM -1.3%) has been cut to Neutral by Goldman.
- Juniper (JNPR -1.7%) has been cut to Sector Perform by RBC.
Aug. 8, 2013, 1:10 PM
- Still in the process of digesting MetroPCS, T-Mobile USA (TMUS +4.4%) says it isn't interested in outbidding AT&T (T -0.7%) for Leap Wireless (LEAP -1.2%).
- Leap has slipped a little on the news, but is still at $16.53. AT&T agreed to buy Leap for $15/share in cash and the net proceeds from the sale of spectrum previously bought for $204M.
- T-Mobile continues to trade higher thanks to its Q2 results, replete with strong (iPhone-driven) postpaid net adds, and solid 2H subscriber guidance.
- Citi (Neutral) isn't crazy about T-Mobile's numbers. The firm notes service revenue still fell 7.5% Y/Y to $5.1B (below Citi's $5.22B estimate) and estimates OIBDA (hurt by iPhone sales) fell 58% Y/Y to $739M (below Citi's $1.1B estimate) after adjusting for Value Plan accounting changes.
- The firm remains concerned about T-Mobile revenue/OIBDA growth prospects in light of " the rapid maturation of the prepaid category & competitive pressures in its postpaid segment."
- CEO John Legere asserts T-Mobile is "taking customers from AT&T at a ratio of two to one." If true, that represents a big reversal from recent trends.
Aug. 8, 2013, 11:19 AM
- Deutsche Telekom (DTEGF.PK +6.6%) reports Q2 EBITDA of €4.4B, in-line. Net income comes in at €530M (+10% Y/Y) .
- The company lowers 2013 guidance, forecasting EBITDA of €17.5B versus a prior €18.4B. The most pessimistic analyst estimate was €17.6B.
- The company's T-Mobile USA (TMUS +6.2%) unit saw a big turnaround, adding a net 688K contract customers in the quarter (compared to a net loss of 557K customers in Q2 2012). The increase, driven by iPhone sales and new contract-free service plans, represented T-Mobile's first postpaid gain in 16 quarters.
- DT will continue to raid cash flows to fuel customer growth. CEO Rene Obermann: "We are winning droves of customers on both sides of the Atlantic."
- The company expects to add 500K-700K new customers in H2 2013 in the U.S through aggressive marketing, iPhone sales, and the expansion of its LTE network.
TMUS vs. ETF Alternatives
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.
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