Wed, Jan. 7, 10:34 AM
- T-Mobile (TMUS +1.6%) added 1.28M branded postpaid subscribers in Q4 - down slightly from 1.38M in Q3 but up from 869K a year ago, and evidence of further share gains fueled by the carrier's aggressive pricing. Branded postpaid phone net adds totaled 1.04M, and branded mobile broadband net adds 239K.
- 266K branded prepaid subs were added vs. 411K in Q3 and 112K a year ago. M2M sub growth totaled 152K vs. 222K in Q3 and 172K a year ago, and MVNO sub growth amounted to 434K vs. 333K in Q3 and 492K a year ago.
- For the whole of 2014, T-Mobile added 8.3M subs, including 4.9M branded postpaid and 4M branded postpaid phone subs. The branded postpaid base stood at 27.2M at year's end (25.8M phone), and the branded prepaid base at 16.3M.
- In his 2015 predictions (previous), CEO John Legere suggested T-Mobile will try to add to its momentum by targeting U.S. consumers who still don't have a smartphone (roughly 1/4 of the populace) and/or Internet access, as well as SMBs.
Dec. 9, 2014, 9:48 AM
- With price pressure from rivals as intense has ever, Verizon has warned it expects to see "short-term pressure" on its wireless margins and EPS, and that retail postpaid disconnects are "trending higher" both Q/Q and Y/Y.
- AT&T (T -2.8%) and Sprint (S -2.3%) aren't responding well to the news; the S&P is down 0.9%. Sprint's moves under new CEO Marcelo Claure (launched in an attempt to stem ongoing postpaid share losses) appear to be contributing to Verizon's challenges. Big Red has been gaining postpaid share relative to AT&T and Sprint, though not T-Mobile.
- T-Mobile (TMUS -5.1%) is down sharply, but shares had already sold off before the Verizon news, thanks to T-Mobile's convertible offering announcement.
Dec. 8, 2014, 5:41 PM
Dec. 8, 2014, 4:10 PM
- T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) is offering 17.4M shares of mandatory convertible preferred stock featuring a liquidation preference of $50/share. Underwriters will have a 2.6M-share overallotment option.
- Proceeds will be used for "general corporate purposes, including capital investments and acquisition of additional spectrum unrelated to spectrum it may obtain in the Federal Communications Commissions pending AWS-3 spectrum auction."
- Total AWS-3 auction bids have surpassed $41B. Though Verizon, AT&T, and Dish are believed to be bidding more aggressively, T-Mobile's bill could still be significant. The carrier already raised debt in advance of the auction.
- Some of the new offering's proceeds could end up going towards 2016's 600MHz. incentive auction, which is expected to be bigger than the AWS-3 auction, and where T-Mobile is expected to spend heavily to address a relative shortage of low-band spectrum.
- T-Mobile's net debt totaled $17.3B at the end of Q3.
Nov. 4, 2014, 12:38 PM
- William Blair's Jim Breen, reiterating an Underperform on Sprint (S -16.9%) following its disappointing Q3 numbers and EBITDA guidance cut: "Sprint reported a Sprint-platform postpaid churn rate that was its highest in the past six years ... postpaid and prepaid losses reflect intense competition, specifically related to competitors’ early- termination fee reimbursements."
- Breen expects Sprint 'will struggle to win high-end subscribers from Verizon and AT&T as their 4G LTE lead and shared data plans will likely have the effect of decreasing churn even further." He also notes improving Sprint's oft-criticized network quality will require significant capex; Sprint just slashed its 2014 capex budget by ~$1B.
- Canaccord's Greg Miller (Hold) isn't convinced Sprint's relatively positive September metrics spell a turnaround. "Preliminary reports have not consistently translated into sustainable trends that improve shareholder value over the long-term ... We look forward to additional details on yet another strategy to restore the company and make it more competitive and successful."
- Goldman (Neutral) is more encouraged by the September numbers, but also expects the costs of boosting subscriber adds to take a toll on ARPU and EBITDA. It expects postpaid phone net losses to fall to 240K in 2015 from 2.2M in 2014.
- On the CC (transcript), Sprint said it expects 2014 EBITDA to be "neutral to modestly higher" compared with 2014 levels. Jefferies notes this is 20% below consensus.
- Cowen (Outperform) still thinks a turnaround can happen. "We believe mgmt. is making the right decisions and that this should lead to outsized subs/EBITDA growth in coming quarters and consequent improvement in stock price."
- Low-end rival T-Mobile (TMUS -3.7%), which has been performing much better than Sprint in recent quarters, is also lower.
- Yesterday's earnings coverage
Oct. 28, 2014, 11:23 AM
- Though T-Mobile (TMUS +2.5%) missed Q3 revenue/EPS estimates, it delivered 1.379M branded postpaid net subscriber adds, up from 908K in Q2 and a record high.
- Full-year branded postpaid net add guidance has been hiked to 4.3M-4.7M from 3M-3.5M. The costs of adding these subscribers has led T-Mobile to forecast adjusted EBITDA will be "at the very low end" of a prior $5.6B-$5.8B guidance range. Cash capex guidance is unchanged at $4.3B-$4.6B.
- Branded postpaid phone net adds totaled 1.175M, up sharply from Q2's 579K and evidence of further share gains against Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. Branded prepaid net adds rose to 411K from Q2's 102K. Wholesale net adds (MVNOS and M2M services) rose to 555K from 460K.
- Service revenue rose 10.6% Y/Y to $5.7B, and equipment revenue 6.4% to $1.47B. Branded postpaid average billings per user rose to $61.59 from $59.79 in Q2 and $59.08 a year ago. Branded postpaid churn was 1.6% vs. 1.5% in Q2 and 1.7% a year ago.
- T-Mobile ended Q3 with 25.9M branded postpaid subs, 16.1M branded prepaid subs, and 10.9M wholesale subs. Net debt totaled $17.3B, up $100M Q/Q.
- Q3 results, PR
Oct. 23, 2014, 10:40 AM
- Though it rejected Iliad's overtures, Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) is still trying to find a suitor for T-Mobile USA (TMUS +2.7%), Germany's Manager Magazin reports.
- The magazine speculates America Movil (AMX +0.8%), which no longer counts AT&T as an investor, could make a bid. For now, Carlos Slim's carrier only operates in the U.S. through its TracFone Wireless prepaid MVNO.
- AMX is also about to get a windfall from the sale of Mexican assets being unloaded to appease regulators.
Oct. 13, 2014, 1:26 PM
- France's Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) has abandoned its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA (TMUS -3.6%). T-Mobile has fallen sharply on the news.
- Bloomberg previously reported Iliad had set a mid-October deadline to up its initial (rejected) offer for T-Mobile, or walk away. Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) was believed to be skeptical about Iliad's ability to run T-Mobile, and also nervous about selling one of its few growth assets.
- Update: Iliad says it abandoned its bid after Deutsche Telekom and certain T-Mobile board members "refused to entertain" an offer for a 67% stake (up from a prior 56.6%).
Oct. 2, 2014, 1:21 PM
- Bloomberg reports Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) is prepping an offer that would involve the French carrier acquiring a larger T-Mobile USA (TMUS +1.4%) stake. Iliad previously made a rejected $33/share offer for a 56.6% stake.
- Iliad is believed to have set a mid-October deadline for upping its T-Mobile bid or walking away, and has made outreaches to P-E firms. T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) is reportedly wary of Iliad's overtures.
- T-Mobile has caught a bid on the report. However, shares remain well below Iliad's original offer price.
Sep. 12, 2014, 11:46 AM
- T-Mobile US (TMUS +1.7%) added 552K postpaid customers in August, more customer additions than any other month in the company's history, and added 208K prepaid customers, CEO John Legere tells investors at the Goldman Conference in NYC.
- The wave of new subscribers was in part due to the popularity of a promotion that allows customers to add four lines for $100/month, Legere says.
- Earlier, Argus upgraded shares to Buy from Hold with a $40 price target, saying a series of innovative plans promoted with razzle-dazzle marketing is gaining traction with subscribers; the firm also expects the latest TMUS offer, which facilitates Wi-Fi communications and interoperability with the cellular network, to resonate with subscribers.
Sep. 10, 2014, 6:45 PM| Comment!
Aug. 28, 2014, 1:03 PM
- Bloomberg reports Deutsche Telekom (OTCQX:DTEGY) is open to holding talks to sell T-Mobile USA (TMUS +2.1%) at $35/share or more. T-Mobile has risen above $30 in response.
- DT owns 67% of T-Mobile USA. French carrier Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) has offered $33/share for a 56.6% stake in T-Mobile, a bid T-Mobile has dismissed as "very inadequate."
- Sprint was rumored to be prepping a $40/share bid before abandoning its plans due to regulatory opposition.
Aug. 6, 2014, 9:14 AM
Jul. 31, 2014, 1:02 PM
- France's Iliad (OTC:ILIAF) is offering $15B in cash for a 56.6% stake in T-Mobile USA (TMUS +7.3%) at a price of $33/share. Iliad values the remaining 43.4% at $40.50/share. Sprint (S -5.3%) has been reported to be planning a ~$40/share deal.
- Iliad says it has obtained financing from unnamed banks, and would also do a capital raise to help pay for the deal. One issue: Iliad has a current market cap of just $16B, less than T-Mobile's $24.8B and Sprint's $30.6B. Sprint has reportedly lined up a $40B+ debt package to finance a T-Mobile deal.
- A source tells the WSJ Iliad, which has upended the French mobile market with its aggressive pricing, views a T-Mobile merger as a "one-time opportunity to enter the world's-largest telecoms market."
- Iliad also thinks (perhaps with good reason, given FCC/DOJ remarks) regulators will be more comfortable with its bid than Sprint's, since Iliad has no U.S. presence.
- AT&T (T -2%) and Verizon (VZ -2.3%) have joined Sprint in selling off, as investors mull the possibility of a deal that would leave the number of nationwide U.S. carriers at 4. Concerns about Iliad's pricing history might also be weighing on shares.
- Related tickers: OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCQX:DTEGY
- Earlier: Iliad reportedly bids for T-Mobile USA
Jul. 31, 2014, 11:54 AM| 2 Comments
Jul. 15, 2014, 2:13 PM
- Sprint (S -3.7%) and T-Mobile (TMUS -3.1%) plan to form a JV that will raise $10B to spend on next year's giant low-frequency spectrum auction, the WSJ reports.
- The funds are said to be part of the $45B financing package (previous) SoftBank (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) is lining up to enable a Sprint/T-Mobile merger (regulators permitting). T-Mobile will oversee the JV.
- Two months ago, the FCC set rules limiting how much spectrum Verizon and AT&T can buy through the auction. That opens the door for Sprint and T-Mobile to grab a large chunk of the airwaves. Each has a relative dearth of low-frequency spectrum (superior for rural and in-building coverage).
- Sprint currently has $26.6B in net debt, and T-Mobile roughly $9B. Shares of both companies have fallen on the report.
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