After the four major US carriers announced their numbers for the second quarter of the year, it's time for US Cellular - a small, regional wireless carrier - to announce theirs. The company posted total operating revenues of $980 million for the quarter, that's an increase from $976 million from the same period last year. Net income that is attributable to US Cellular shareholders were $27 million with diluted earnings per share at $0.32. That was compared to $19 million and $0.23, respectively, the year prior.
As far as customers go, the wireless carrier posted postpaid net additions of 36,000. That was higher than Wall Street's expectation of about 26,000. US Cellular also posted a churn rate of just 1.2% which is lower than expectations of 1.3%. This is the lowest churn rate that US Cellular has ever had, and thus they are pretty happy with it. For those that don't know what "churn rate" means, it's a metric which wireless carriers (and other industries) use to determine how many customers are coming into the company, versus those that are leaving. So ideally, the lower the churn rate, the better.
US Cellular, in their press release announcing their earnings, broke down their retail connections. They have 4.5 million connections. Of those connections, there are about 8,000 feature phones still out there on their network, 107,000 smartphones and 82,000 connected devices. They lost, however, 21,000 feature phones for the quarter. Which could be due to users finally upgrading to smartphones, or simply people jumping to other carriers. ARPU or Average Revenue Per User, also declined compared to the previous quarter. Which seems to be a popular thing among wireless carriers lately. US Cellular's ARPU is $47.37, versus $48.13 the quarter before and $53.63 this time last year. When it comes to prepaid, US Cellular has about 413,000 total connections, and added about 14,000 in the quarter. ARPU is also decreasing on the prepaid side for them, with $34.58 for the quarter, versus $35.98 for the same period last year.
US Cellular's president and CEO, Kenneth Meyers stated in a prepared statement that his company "had another encouraging quarter of continued progress toward achieving our strategic objectives in 2016. We continued to grow our customer base by providing products and services priced to offer the best value in the industry."