T-Mobile US has made relatively few missteps thus far in their quest to revolutionize the world of wireless, as their recently released fourth quarter results for 2016 show, and some remarks during the same earnings call point to the possibility of T-Mobile bringing their ruthless tactics to the world of TV broadcasting next. The remarks in question came in response to a question from Walter Piecyk of BTIG LLC, who asked T-Mobile CEO John Legere about the possibility of T-Mobile doing to the pay TV industry what they did to wireless. Legere's response was that the industry was "ripe for Un-Carriering", and that the possibilities inherent in a move into the industry make him "salivate".
While a possible move into pay TV for Magenta is huge news, it was essentially glanced over, with some ribbing over the handling of DIRECTV thrown AT&T's way for good measure, and nothing was said in any official capacity. As for the earnings call itself, the Un-Carrier pulled off its 14th straight quarter of growth in both the prepaid and postpaid sectors, and also managed to bring their free cash flow up to about $1.4 billion. Upgrades were up to 10%, up 3% from last quarter due to demand for Apple's new iPhone 7, among other new devices. Service revenue growth sat pretty at 11% year on year for the fourth quarter, while earnings per share reached $0.45, up $0.11 year on year for the fourth quarter. Finally, ARPU for the quarter was $48.37.
T-Mobile's 2017 guidance paints a similar picture to the one painted at the beginning of 2016, albeit with slightly higher numbers in some areas to account for growth since then. Guidance for postpaid net additions is between 2.4 million and 3.4 million. Capital expenditure, meanwhile, is set to be between $4.8 billion and $5.1 billion, indicating serious network buildout as T-Mobile begins putting the spectrum they won in the FCC auction to good use in their LTE network, and building out the preliminary framework for their 5G network. Predictions for EBITDA, meanwhile, sit somewhere between $0.8 billion and $0.9 billion. With high projected growth, huge network improvements incoming, and the possibility of some action in the TV space, 2017 is looking to be a good year for Magenta.