T-Mobile profit nearly triples, adds 2.1 million customers

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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1. Nike
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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
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
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
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 26: T-Mobile US CEO John Legere arrives on T-Mobile's magenta carpet duirng the Showtime, WME IME and Mayweather Promotions VIP Pre-Fight Party for Mayweather vs. McGregor at T-Mobile Arena on August 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for Showtime)
John Legere, chief executive officer of T-Mobile US Inc., stands for a photograph ahead of the T-Mobile Un-Carrier X event in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015. Legere, poking at larger rivals Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., unveiled the Binge On feature that lets subscribers watch videos from selected providers including Verizon's go90 service without having to pay extra in data charges. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
John Legere, chief executive officer of T-Mobile US Inc., streams Periscope on an Apple Inc. iPhone ahead of the T-Mobile Un-Carrier X event in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015. Legere, poking at larger rivals Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., unveiled the Binge On feature that lets subscribers watch videos from selected providers including Verizon's go90 service without having to pay extra in data charges. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
John Legere, chief executive officer of T-Mobile US Inc., pauses to sip a drink during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Legere has used social-media marketing and free video-streaming promotions like Binge On to lure subscribers from rivals Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and Sprint Corp. without hurting the bottom line in a price war. Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images
John Legere, chief executive officer of T-Mobile US Inc., speaks during the T-Mobile Un-Carrier X event in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015. Legere, poking at larger rivals Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., unveiled the Binge On feature that lets subscribers watch videos from selected providers including Verizon's go90 service without having to pay extra in data charges. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
John Legere, chief executive officer of T-Mobile US Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. Legere said he is pleased with T-Mobile's overall results despite missing third quarter profit estimates. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
John Legere, chief executive officer of T-Mobile US Inc., speaks during the T-Mobile Un-Carrier X event in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015. Legere, poking at larger rivals Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., unveiled the Binge On feature that lets subscribers watch videos from selected providers including Verizon's go90 service without having to pay extra in data charges. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 15: T-Mobile CEO/Executive Producer John Legere takes part in a Q&A following the HBO Documentary screening of 'Love Child' on July 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO)
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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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