T-Mobile had mixed financial results for the first quarter of 2015, with a 13.1 percent revenue increase to $7.78 billion, but a loss of $63 million compared with the same quarter one year ago. At the same time, the company added 1.8 million new customers in the quarter, while reducing its customer churn rate to a T-Mobile record low rate of 1.3 percent.
The April 28 earnings announcement was a bit of a contrast to the company's fourth-quarter 2014 earnings results that were announced in February, when T-Mobile raked in a profit of $101 million and Q4 revenue of $8.15 billion.
The latest figures didn't, however, dim the message of T-Mobile's president and CEO, John Legere, who in a statement lauded the company's performance in adding customers while cutting its churn rate of customers who were leaving the carrier.
"We've had eight consecutive quarters with more than one million total net customer additions proving that customers want value," Legere said in a statement. "We expect to once again capture all of the industry's postpaid phone growth in Q1 and we've done it while delivering an all-time record low 1.3 percent churn."
Overall, at the end of Q1, T-Mobile had 56.8 million total customers, up from 49.1 million customers one year ago, according to the company. In the first quarter, T-Mobile sold 8 million new smartphones to customers, which was an increase of 16 percent over the same quarter one year ago.
The company's loss per share for the quarter was $0.09, compared with a loss per share of $0.19 in the first quarter of 2014. T-Mobile said it expects earnings per share to be positive in all the remaining quarters and full-year 2015, according to its guidance.
The company's 9 cent loss per share was higher than expected in a survey of 11 analysts who were polled by Zacks Investment Research, according to an April 28 Associated Press report. The loss per share average expected by the analysts was 7 cents per share, the story reported. The company's revenue of $7.8 billion, however, slightly exceeded their estimates, which had been $7.7 billion.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile's 4G LTE network continues to be expanded, according to the company, with 275 million people covered presently in the U.S. and coverage for an estimated 300 million people being predicted by the end of 2015.
Through the start of 2015, T-Mobile has been continuing to introduce new innovations to attract new customers and expand its business. In March, the company began offering new mobile services targeted directly at small and medium-sized businesses to bring them into T-Mobile's ecosystem. Under its "Un-carrier for Business," or Un-Carrier 9.0, offering, the company is selling mobile services for $16 per line per month for up to 19 lines of service, with each one including 1GB of high-speed data. Pricing for 20 to 999 lines is $15 per line per month, including 1GB of high-speed data per line, while pricing for 1,000 lines or more is $10 per line per month.
More data can be added as desired for $10 per user for 2GB of data per month. Larger "pools" of data are also available for purchase as needed, starting at $4.75 per GB for up to 100GB or $4.50 per GB for up to 500GB. Data pools of more than 1TB per month are priced at $4.25 per GB.
The Un-carrier for Business program also offers SMBs a free and simple way to start their own Websites through a free dot-com domain and Website tools in a partnership with Web hosting company GoDaddy.com for all business customers who purchase data allocations from T-Mobile. Business customers also gained the ability to get branded email addresses for their companies, rather than generic Gmail or ISP-based email addresses through an arrangement with Microsoft that will allow customers to now have custom-branded email domains. Discounts are also available for the family members of new business customers so that they also can save on their phone plans.
At the same time, T-Mobile unveiled a new program aimed at consumers, starting with guaranteed rates forever and payments of up to $650 per line to buy out a new customer's existing smartphone payment plan from either Verizon Wireless or AT&T. The offers aim to help the company bring in new customers and keep them with T-Mobile for the long haul.
In the last two years, T-Mobile has unveiled a series of what it calls "Un-carrier" events that have ended mobile contracts for consumers, removed overage charges, created rollover data capabilities and more.