T-Mobile exceeds expectations for phone subscribers, profit

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(Reuters) – T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) on Tuesday exceeded Wall Street’s quarterly estimates for net new phone subscribers and profit, driven by its competitive wireless plans and trade-in offers for iPhones aimed at fending off its bigger rivals.

FILE PHOTO: A T-Mobile logo is advertised on a building sign in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Shares of the Bellevue, Washington-based company rose over 3 percent to $66.02 in extended trading.

The third-largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers is awaiting regulatory approval for its deal to buy smaller rival Sprint Corp (S.N) as it strives for more scale to compete with Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) and AT&T Inc (T.N).

T-Mobile added a net 774,000 phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill during the third quarter, up from 595,000 net new subscribers it added in the same quarter last year.

The results were well ahead of analyst expectations for 628,000 net new subscribers, according to research firm FactSet.

The growth was helped by new wireless plans aimed at certain users, such as those over 55 and people in the military, which helped T-Mobile gain new customer segments.

Wall Street analysts watch the so-called “postpaid” customer figure, because those users pay a recurring bill and are more valuable to the carriers.

T-Mobile’s revenue rose to $10.84 billion from $10.02 billion, beating analysts’ estimates of $10.72 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

T-Mobile’s net income rose to $795 million, or 93 cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $550 million, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting the company to report a profit of 85 cents per share.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in New York; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Grant McCool

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