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T-Mobile Posts Q1 Loss, Adds 2.4M Customers

by Todd Haselton | May 1, 2014May 1, 2014 7:30 am PST


T-Mobile reported its first quarter 2014 earnings on Thursday. The carrier noted 2.4 million total net customer additions during the quarter, including 1.3 million branded postpaid net customer additions, more than any other carrier and a sign that its UnCarrier approach may be working. Still, despite the increased customer base T-Mobile posted a loss to the quarter.

T-Mobile lost $151 million in Q1 — or a loss of 19 cents a share — down from the $107 million it earned in the first quarter of 2013. Branded postpaid revenues came in at $3.4 billion, up from $3.2 billion in the year-ago quarter. Branded prepaid revenues also jumped to $1.6 billion for the quarter, up from about $500 million  in the year-ago quarter, and that increase is most likely due to its MetroPCS acquisition.

Total revenue rose to $6.8 billion from $4.6 billion during the year-ago quarter, however. Meanwhile, branded average revenue per user (ARPU), fell 69 cents to $50.01, which means T-Mobile isn’t making as much off of each customer as it did in Q1 2013.

T-Mobile’s earnings basically show that, while the carrier’s efforts seem to be working to attract new customers, its strategy to do so is proving rather expensive. Also, based on earlier earnings, it appears that customers are mostly coming from Sprint — AT&T added customers during the quarter, as did Verizon (though at a slower rate that normal).

Shares of T-Mobile are up in early morning trading at about 8 percent, though that’s likely on reports that Sprint will push again to acquire the carrier sometime this summer.

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Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...