T-Mobile added another 1.7 million customers during the first quarter of 2019 as the company waits for regulatory approval of its $26 billion merger with Sprint.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless carrier reported $11.1 billion in revenue for Q1 2019, up 6 percent from last year and meeting Wall Street expectations. Its earnings-per-share of $1.06 was up 36 percent and beat estimates. The company’s 1.7 million total net subscriber additions were up 15 percent year-over-year; it’s the 24th straight quarter of at least 1 million total net adds for T-Mobile. Shares were flat in after-hours trading.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere used the earnings report to again tout his company’s pending merger with rival Sprint, which faces an uncertain future due to reported concerns from the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Our results speak for themselves and our business continues to fire on all cylinders! Record Service revenues, record Q1 Net income and record Adjusted EBITDA – all while we continue to share the story and lay out the facts that our game changing merger with Sprint will be a win for consumers,” Legere said in a statement.
In April 2018, T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to merge and create a $146 billion company under the T-Mobile name, combining the third and fourth-largest U.S. carriers behind Verizon and Sprint.
The wireless carriers need sign-off from DOJ and the Federal Communications Commission to complete the merger. T-Mobile and Sprint claim that merging will increase competition with their larger rivals AT&T and Verizon. Their entreaty to regulators also claims that merging will increase American competitiveness in the next generation of wireless technology known as 5G.
DOJ is reportedly unconvinced. Staffers in the department question the validity of those arguments and are concerned about removing a competitor from the wireless industry, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Legere said today that he expects the merger to close in the first half of 2019.
“We continue to work through the regulatory review process and believe that we are in the final innings of a process that we have a great deal of respect for,” Legere said on the company’s earnings call. “We’ve completed a number of major milestones and we remain optimistic and confident that with the substantial facts and record before them, the regulators will recognize that this merger is good for consumers.”
Added Legere: “In the one year since we announced the deal, in all the work we’ve done, all the due diligence we’ve done and all the integration planning we’ve done — our enthusiasm for the opportunity is greater than it’s ever been. Our belief in the size of the synergy pool and the power of the network when you put them together; the impact on 5G for the country; the positive nature on jobs; the expansion into rural and in-home broadband — has gone up. … We are more enthusiastic and more excited about the coming together of these companies than we were one year ago.”
Beyond the Sprint merger activity, it’s been a busy past few months T-Mobile, which recently announced a new TV service, rolled out its mobile banking service, partnered with Comcast to rein in robocalls, and helped open the new T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners.