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T-Mobile US (TMUS) Tops Q1 Earnings & Revenues, View Up

T-Mobile US Inc. TMUS reported strong financial results in the first quarter of 2016. Both the top and the bottom line outpaced the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.

T-Mobile US continues to gain lucrative postpaid wireless customers, which have encouraged management to raise the subscriber gain outlook for 2016. Notably, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company competes with the likes of Verizon Communications Inc. VZ, AT&T Inc. T and Sprint Corp. S in the highly price-sensitive U.S. wireless market.

GAAP net income in the reported quarter was $467 million or 56 cents per share as against a net loss of $63 million or a loss of 9 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. Quarterly earnings per share of 56 cents came in significantly above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 18 cents.

Total revenue increased 10.6% year over year to $8,599 million in the first quarter, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8,446 million. Segment-wise, Service revenues were up 13% year over year to $6,578 million. Sales from Equipment totaled $1,851 million, flat year over year while Other revenues were $170 million, up 57.4% year over year.

Quarterly operating income was $1,103 million compared with $117 million in the year-ago quarter. Operating margin, in the reported quarter, was 12.8% compared with a mere 1.5% in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was $2,749 million, up a substantial 98.1% year over year. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 32% compared with 17.8% in the year-ago quarter. Notably, the company sold 8.8 million smartphones in the first quarter, representing nearly 93.6% of total phone sales.

Cash Flow

In the first quarter of 2016, T-Mobile US generated $1.025 million of cash from operations compared with $489 million in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted free cash flow in the reported quarter was a negative $247 million, narrower than a negative $422 million in the year-ago quarter.  

Liquidity

At the end of the first quarter of 2016, T-Mobile had $6,572 million of cash and cash equivalents and short-term securities and $20,870 million of debt outstanding compared with $7,580 million and $20,666 million respectively, at 2015 end. The debt-to-capitalization ratio at first-quarter end was 0.55, flat with the end of 2015. 

Subscriber Statistics and Other Metrics

As of Mar 31, 2016, the total customer base of T-Mobile was 65.503 million, up 15.2% year over year. Branded postpaid phone customers totaled 30.232 million, up 12.7%. Branded postpaid mobile broadband customer count was 2.504 million, up a whopping 69.8%. Branded prepaid customer count was 18.438 million, up 12.5%. Wholesale customers tallied 14.329 million, up 18.1%.

In the reported quarter, T-Mobile added net 0.877 branded postpaid phone customers, 0.164 branded postpaid mobile broadband customers, 0.807 branded prepaid customers and 0.373 wholesale customers. Total net customer addition was 2.221 million, signifying the 12th successive quarter of over one million net customer addition. Out of this, net postpaid customer addition was 1.041 million, signifying the 7th straight quarter of over one million of net postpaid customer addition.

Quarterly branded postpaid churn was 1.33% compared with 1.3% in the year-ago quarter. Branded prepaid churn was 3.84% compared with 4.62% in the prior-year quarter.

Quarterly, branded postpaid phone average revenue per user (ARPU) was $46.21 compared with $46.43 in the prior-year quarter. Branded prepaid ARPU was $37.58 compared with $37.81 in the prior-year quarter. Branded postpaid average billing per user (ABPU) was $61.90 compared with $60.94 in the year-ago quarter.

Guidance

For 2016, the company raised its adjusted EBITDA guidance to the range of $9.7 billion to $10.2 billion from the previous range of $9.1 billion to $9.7 billion. Branded postpaid net customer addition in 2016 has been upwardly revised to 3.2 million to 3.6 million from the previously given range of 2.4 million and 3.4 million. However, capital expenditures for 2016 are projected to remain in the $4.5 billion to $4.8 billion band.

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