NEW YORK – T-Mobile US Inc. posted subscriber gains that exceeded analysts’ predictions and raised its customer forecast for the year, once again outpacing larger rivals Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc.
T-Mobile, which is awaiting U.S. court approval of its $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint Corp., said Monday that it added 1.1 million regular monthly subscribers in the third quarter. Analysts anticipated 848,000 new mobile customers. Earnings of $1.01 a share also exceeded estimates.
T-Mobile typically gives a conservative wireless-subscriber forecast at the beginning of the year, only to raise it later. This time fits the pattern again: The company increased its range to between 4.1 million and 4.3 million, up from 3.5 million to 4 million in August.
Attracting new mobile customers could become more challenging next month when Verizon starts offering a free year of Disney+, a new video streaming service. T-Mobile has been boosting its customer base by offering free Netflix subscriptions.
The Federal Communications Commission approved T-Mobile’s purchase of Sprint earlier this month, but the deal still faces a multistate lawsuit that goes to court in December.
T-Mobile, like Verizon and AT&T, is adding 5G wireless technology to its network. The company plans to launch its full nationwide 5G network by the end of this year, matching AT&T’s planned expansion; Verizon expects to offer the service in 30 cities by year-end.
Shares were close to unchanged in late trading Monday. The stock is up 30 percent this year, compared with a gain of 7 percent for Verizon and 21 percent for the S&P 500 Index.