BELLEVUE, Wash. — January 9, 2018 – T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) today provided a preliminary view of key customer results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2017 as well as an update on its stock repurchase program for the fourth quarter of 2017.
“The most passionate, customer-obsessed team in the wireless industry just delivered its 19th quarter in a row with more than a million nets! It’s incredible,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “It just proves that putting customers first quarter after quarter and delivering on our promise of the fastest 4G LTE network in the country is a winning combination for everyone! In 2017, more than 5 million customers came to the Un-carrier for more choice and a better wireless experience. These results speak for themselves and we are ready to continue the fight for consumers in 2018!”
Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2017 Customer Results
In the fourth quarter of 2017, T-Mobile added approximately 1.9 million total net customers, bringing its total customer count to nearly 72.6 million at year-end 2017. This marks the 19th consecutive quarter that T-Mobile has generated more than 1 million total net customer additions. Full-year 2017 also marked the fourth consecutive year that T-Mobile added more than 5 million net customers.
Over the past five years, T-Mobile’s reported customer base has increased by more than 39 million in total.
T-Mobile also saw continued strength in branded postpaid customers, reporting net customer additions of 1.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Branded postpaid phone net customer additions were 891,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017. This is expected to be the sixteenth consecutive quarter in which T-Mobile has led the industry in branded postpaid phone net customer additions. For full-year 2017, we added over 3.6 million branded postpaid net customers, coming in at the top of the revised guidance range for branded postpaid net customer additions of 3.3 to 3.6 million.
Branded prepaid net customer additions in the fourth quarter of 2017 were 149,000. For full-year 2017, we added 855,000 branded prepaid net customers, primarily driven by the continued success of our MetroPCS brand. Migrations to branded postpaid plans reduced branded prepaid net customer additions by approximately 180,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 700,000 for full-year 2017.
Wholesale net customer additions were 633,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 1.2 million for full-year 2017.
Branded postpaid phone churn was 1.18% in the fourth quarter of 2017, down 10 basis points year-over-year and down 5 basis points sequentially. This represents T-Mobile’s best-ever fourth quarter branded postpaid phone churn result.
Branded prepaid churn was 4.00% in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 6 basis points year-over-year and down 25 basis points sequentially.
Stock Repurchase Program
On December 6, 2017, we announced our Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program for up to $1.5 billion of our common stock through December 31, 2018. The repurchase program does not obligate us to acquire any particular amount of common stock, and the repurchase program may be suspended or discontinued at any time at our discretion. Repurchased shares are retired.
During 2017, we repurchased approximately 7.0 million shares at an average price per share of $63.34 for a total purchase price of approximately $444 million. The maximum approximate dollar value of shares that may yet be purchased under the program was $1.1 billion as of December 31, 2017.
We also understand that Deutsche Telekom AG, our majority stockholder, or its affiliates, is considering plans to purchase additional shares of our common stock. Such purchases would likely take place through December 31, 2018, all in accordance with the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other applicable legal requirements.
Preliminary Customer Results
Our customer results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2017 are preliminary and subject to completion of our year-end closing review procedures. America’s Un-carrier plans to share more details and its full financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2017 in February 2018.
- During 2017, we retitled our “Branded postpaid mobile broadband customers” category to “Branded postpaid other customers” and reclassified DIGITS customers from our “Branded postpaid phone customers” category for the second quarter of 2017, when the DIGITS product was released.
- We believe current and future regulatory changes have made the Lifeline program offered by our wholesale partners uneconomical. We will continue to support our wholesale partners offering the Lifeline program, but have excluded the Lifeline customers from our reported wholesale subscriber base resulting in the removal of 160,000 and 4,528,000 reported wholesale customers in the third quarter of 2017 and for full-year 2017, respectively. No further Lifeline adjustments are expected in future periods.
- During 2017, we retitled our “Branded postpaid mobile broadband customers” category to “Branded postpaid other customers” and reclassified DIGITS customer net additions from our “Branded postpaid phone customers” category for the second quarter of 2017, when the DIGITS product was released.
- Net customer activity for Lifeline was excluded beginning in the second quarter of 2017 due to our determination based upon changes in the applicable government regulations that the Lifeline program offered by our wholesale partners is uneconomical.