MetroPCS Bleeding Subscribers as It Waits for the T-Mobile Ambulance
Approval for MetroPCS Communications’ merger with Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile USA can’t come soon enough for the struggling prepaid wireless service provider. The company’s last year as an independent company has proven to be a particularly ugly one.
On Monday, MetroPCS released its latest subscriber reports, and they are, in a word, abysmal. For its fourth quarter, the company posted a net loss of 93,237 wireless subscribers. And that gruesome number brought total subscriber losses for 2012 to around 459,936. MetroPCS ended the year with about 8.9 million subscribers. Quite a change from 2011, which ended with 9.4 million.
MetroPCS’s subscriber results were well below the Street’s expectations, and the company’s stock is being hammered as a result. Shares are down around 2 percent as I write this.
“This is the first time MetroPCS has lost subscribers on a net basis in Q4, which is typically its second strongest quarter behind Q1, and marks the company’s third consecutive quarter of net subscriber losses,” UBS analyst John Hodulik said in a research note. “We believe this underscores the urgency with which the company pursued merger partners before reaching a deal with T-Mobile in October.”