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Sprint’s Postpaid Phone Net Additions Show Strong Momentum

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Sprint’s postpaid phone net additions during fiscal 1Q17

Earlier, we learned that Sprint’s (S) consolidated adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) margin has expanded significantly YoY (year-over-year) over the past few quarters. In this part, we’ll look at Sprint’s postpaid phone customer additions. Sprint’s postpaid phone net additions continued to improve in fiscal 1Q17 (ended June 2017).

 Sprint’s strong momentum showed no signs of slowing down, with 88,000 postpaid phone net additions in fiscal 1Q17, up from 42,000 in fiscal 4Q16 and down from 173,000 in fiscal 1Q16. The YoY decrease was mainly due to higher phone churn, which was partially offset by higher gross additions. The sequential increase was mostly driven by lower churn.

During Sprint’s fiscal 1Q17 earnings conference call, management was excited to report that the company had added over 115,000 postpaid phone net customers in July.

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Peer comparison: Postpaid phone net additions in 2Q17

In calendar 2Q17, T-Mobile (TMUS) gained 786,000 postpaid phone subscribers, whereas Verizon (VZ) added 358,000. Meanwhile, AT&T (T) lost 89,000 postpaid phone subscribers.

Postpaid handset users, especially smartphone users, are particularly valuable to telecom companies. Users of Google (GOOG) Android phones or Apple’s (AAPL) iPhones are likely to have higher data usage. As a result, smartphone users are the most lucrative customers for telecom companies.

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