T-Mobile profit nearly triples, adds 2.1 million customers

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Legere on T-Mobile's Q4 Beat

T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) nearly tripled its profit in the fourth quarter as its "Binge On" video streaming service and lower-priced plans helped it add more than 2 million subscribers.

The No. 3 U.S. wireless provider said on Wednesday that net income jumped to $297 million, or 34 cents per share, in the quarter from $101 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier. This surpassed the average analyst estimate of earnings of 15 cents per share, and the company's shares rose more than 1 percent in morning trade.

Total revenue rose 1.1 percent to $8.25 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of $8.20 billion.

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T-Mobile profit nearly triples, adds 2.1 million customers

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To lure customers from rivals Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), AT&T Inc (T.N) and Sprint Corp (S.N), T-Mobile has launched offers like data rollover and lower-priced phone leasing plans in recent months.

In November, the Bellevue, Washington-based company launched "Binge On," which allows customers to stream video from services such as Netflix Inc (NFLX.O), on their mobile devices without having it count against their data plans.

"We aren't just winning customers, we're keeping them too," Legere said on an earnings call.

"Contrary to the belief that most of the donation (of subscribers) in the industry is coming from Sprint, it's actually coming from AT&T," he added.

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T-Mobile added a net 2.1 million customers, including 1.3 million new monthly or postpaid customers in the three months ended Dec. 31. In 2016, it said it expects to add a net 2.4 million to 3.4 million postpaid customers, compared with the 4.5 million it added in 2015.

"Subscriber growth continues to be solid," MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett said in a research note.

The company's average revenue per postpaid user (ARPU) fell marginally to $48.05 in the fourth quarter from $48.26 a year earlier, beating the $46.97 forecast by analysts polled by market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

"T-Mobile was the only operator to not disappoint on ARPU, the monthly phone payments of its customers," BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk said.

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T-Mobile profit nearly triples, adds 2.1 million customers
T-Mobile CEO John Legere speaks during a news conference Tuesday, March 26, 2013 in New York. T-Mobile will start offering the iPhone 5 on April 12, filling what Legere said was "a huge void" in its phone lineup. The company is currently the only major U.S. carrier not to offer Apple's popular smartphone. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
A T-Mobile US Inc. employee transfers data to a customer's new phone at a retail store in Torrance, California, U.S., on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. T-Mobile US Inc. is scheduled to release earnings on Nov. 4. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR T-MOBILE - T-Mobile President and CEO John Legere (L) and Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert (R) respond to questions via Twitter during the T-Mobile US Q3 Earnings call on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Today, T-Mobile announced the biggest growth quarter in the company's history. (Josh Edelson/AP Images for T-Mobile)
FILE - This Sept. 12, 2012 file photo shows a man using a cellphone as he passes a T-Mobile store in New York. T-Mobile USA knowingly made hundreds of millions off its customers in bogus charges, a federal regulator alleged Tuesday in a complaint that is likely to damage the reputation of a household name in wireless communications. In its complaint filed in federal court, the Federal Trade Commission claimed that T-Mobile billed consumers for subscriptions to premium text services such as $10-per-month horoscopes that were never authorized by the account holder. The FTC alleges that T-Mobile collected as much as 40 percent of the charges, even after being alerted by other customers that the subscriptions were scams. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
A sign for a T-Mobile store is displayed, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, in New York. T-Mobile is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. New plans at T-Mobile USA helped the struggling No. 4 carrier stabilize its business in the third quarter after dismal results earlier this year. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR T-MOBILE - T-Mobile CEO John Legere, right, is interviewed by Yahoo! tech columnist, David Pogue, for the Un-carrier 8.0 Data Stash announcement, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, in New York. T-Mobile announced its next Un-carrier move – enabling its customers to roll unused, high-speed data into a personal Data Stash each month automatically. (John Minchillo/AP Images for T-Mobile)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR T-MOBILE - (from left to right) Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter, President and CEO John Legere, Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert, and Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray are seen during the T-Mobile US Q3 Earnings call on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Today, T-Mobile announced the biggest growth quarter in the company's history. (Josh Edelson/AP Images for T-Mobile)
A man uses a cell phone while walking past a T-Mobile US Inc. retail store in Redondo Beach, California, U.S., on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. T-Mobile US Inc. is scheduled to release earnings on Nov. 4. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 12: Apple's iPhone 5 is advertised in the window of a Manhattan T-Mobile store on April 12, 2013 in New York City. Following years of waiting to sell the phone, T-Mobile will begin supporting and selling the iPhone 5 on its network starting on Friday. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 23: A T-Mobile store is seen at 7th Avenue and 49th Street on March 23, 2012 in New York City. T-Mobile USA announced they would be eliminating 1,900 call-center jobs in an effort to cut costs. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
FILE-In this Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, file photo man using a cellphone passes a T-Mobile store, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in New York. Struggling cellphone companies T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS Communications are set to merge, in a deal that will create an operator with more than 40 million subscribers. In a joint statement, the two companies said Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, that Deutsche Telekom AG, the owner of T-Mobile USA, will hold 74 percent of the new business, while MetroPCS's shareholders will hold the remainder, as well as receiving a payment of about $1.5 billion. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
NEW YORK CITY - APRIL 19: Pedestrians walk past a retail outlet for T-Mobile in New York City, on Friday, April 19, 2013.
BERLIN - JULY 24: Emblem T-Mobile. T-Mobile International AG is a holding company for Deutsche Telekom AG's various mobile communications subsidiaries outside Germany, July 24, 2013, Berlin, Germany
A T-Mobile retail store.
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR T-MOBILE - T-Mobile executives, John Legere, center, Neville Ray, right, and Mike Sievert, left, host a media briefing announcing Un-carrier 8.0 Data Stash, Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014, in New York. T-Mobile announced its next Un-carrier move – enabling its customers to roll unused, high-speed data into a personal Data Stash each month automatically. (John Minchillo/AP Images for T-Mobile)
T-Mobile CEO John Legere speaks at a T-Mobile announcement in San Francisco, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. T-Mobile will sell more than 100 smartphone models with a built-in feature that taps into Wi-Fi networks to make phone calls and send texts when customers can't connect to the wireless carrier's cellular network. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
T-Mobile CEO John Legere speaks at a T-Mobile announcement in San Francisco, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. T-Mobile will sell more than 100 smartphone models with a built-in feature that taps into Wi-Fi networks to make phone calls and send texts when customers can't connect to the wireless carrier's cellular network. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR TMO - T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray addresses the media at the Un-carrier 7.0 event on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, in San Francisco. T-Mobile unleashed Wi-Fi, letting customers of the Un-carrier transform all Wi-Fi locations into extensions of T-Mobile's network. (Jed Jacobsohn/ AP Images for TMO)
FILE - An Oct. 19, 2012, file photo is of a T-Mobile store in New York. The Federal Trad Commission Tuesday July 1, 2014, is alleging that T-Mobile USA, Inc., made "hundreds of millions" of dollars off its customers through bogus charges. . (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray speaks at a T-Mobile announcement in San Francisco, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. T-Mobile will sell more than 100 smartphone models with a built-in feature that taps into Wi-Fi networks to make phone calls and send texts when customers can't connect to the wireless carrier's cellular network. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
T-Mobile CEO John Legere, left, hands an iPhone 5S to Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert, right, at T-Mobile's Uncarrier 5.0 event, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
T-Mobile CEO John Legere speaks at T-Mobile's Uncarrier 5.0 event, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
T-Mobile employees are bathed in pink light as they cheer during a speech by CEO John Legere at T-Mobile's "Un-carrier" event, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
T-Mobile CEO John Legere speaks in front of a chart showing the relation of traditional fixed phone lines vs mobile phone lines at T-Mobile's Uncarrier 5.0 event, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
FILE - In this May 7, 2009, file photo the logo of Deutsche Telekom is pictured at the headquarters of the telecommunication company in Bonn, Germany. Telekom said Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, it made a net profit of 588 million euros (US dollar 793 million) in the third quarter as it continued to add customers at T-Mobile USA. The company’s bottom line rebounded after a loss of 7 billion euros in the same quarter a year ago due to non-cash accounting charges related to the merger of its U.S. business with Dallas-based MetroPCS Communications. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz, File)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR T-MOBILE - T-Mobile CEO John Legere, right, and T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert check out a tablet before the 'Tablets Un-leashed' Twitter conference, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 in Bellevue, Wash. T-Mobile announced a revolutionary approach to make tablets, just as mobile and connected as smartphones, by offering customers 200MB of free high speed data every month for the life of their device. (Stephen Brashear / AP Images for T-Mobile)
T-Mobile CEO John Legere is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR T MOBILE - T-Mobile CEO John Legere introduces JUMP!, the company's new revolutionary device upgrade program during T-Mobile's Un-carrier event at Skyline Studios, Wednesday, July 10, 2013, in New York. Beginning Sunday, July 14, customers can choose to upgrade when they want, not when they are told. (John Minchillo/AP Images for T Mobile)
IN THIS IMAGE DISTRIBUTED BY AP IMAGES FOR T-MOBILE - T-Mobile CEO John Legere celebrates the end of international data roaming fees at a special event for customers with Shakira in New York's Bryant Park on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013. T-Mobile has extended unlimited data and texting to Simple Choice customers traveling in more than 100 countries. (Jason DeCrow/AP Images for T-Mobile)
T-Mobile CEO John Legere raises his hand during opening bell ceremonies to celebrate the combined T-Mobile USA, Inc. and MetroPCS Communications companies trading, at the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, May 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
In this Feb. 25, 2011 file photo, a T-Mobile store is shown in Palo Alto, Calif. The parent company of T-Mobile USA says it is merging its cell phone business with MetroPCS Communications. Deutsche Telekom AG says its board of directors and the supervisory board have approved the merger Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. It says the board of MetroPCS has also accepted the deal. It says Deutsche Telekom will hold 74 percent of the new business. MetroPCS's shareholders will have the remaining stake and receive a payment of about US dollar 1.5 billion. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
T-Mobile CEO John Legere speaks during a news conference Tuesday, March 26, 2013 in New York. T-Mobile will start offering the iPhone 5 on April 12, filling what Legere said was "a huge void" in its phone lineup. The company is currently the only major U.S. carrier not to offer Apple's popular smartphone. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
John Legere, chief executive officer of T-Mobile US Inc., pauses during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. T-Mobile US Inc. is allowing customers to roll over high-speed data allotments, in the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier's latest marketing push to lure subscribers from Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
T-Mobile US Inc. signage is displayed in the window of a retail store in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. T-Mobile US Inc. is expected to release third quarter earnings figures on Oct. 27. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
T-Mobile CEO John Legere speaks at T-Mobile's Uncarrier 5.0 event, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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The company plans to invest up to $10 billion to buy low-frequency airwaves in a U.S. government auction starting March 29. In addition to rivals Verizon and AT&T, it will go up against with Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) and Silicon Valley investment firm Social Capital that have filed to participate.

T-Mobile shares, which fell about 7 percent this year through Tuesday, were up 1.1 percent to $36.84 in morning trade.

(Reporting by Malathi Nayak in New York and Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian and W Simon)

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