is expected to once again lead the industry in the most important metric reported by mobile carriers each quarter, postpaid phone net additions. This is the most important number because postpaid phone subscribers are the ones who pay the most for wireless service each month. Postpaid phone subscribers aren’t apt to switch carriers so quickly compared to prepaid customers.
Per Fierce Wireless
, for the fourth quarter of 2023, analysts at TD Cowan expect T-Mobile
to report 860,000 net new postpaid phone additions. The previous quarter, T-Mobile reported 850,000 net new postpaid phone additions
which was more than the number reported during Q3 for both Verizon
and AT&T combined. During the fourth quarter of 2022, T-Mobile
reported 927,000 in net new postpaid phone additions. Traditionally, the fourth quarter is the strongest quarter of the year for wireless firms.
Verizon will kick off the fourth quarter reporting season on January 23rd followed by AT&T the next day, January 24th, and T-Mobile on January 25th. Last week, Cowan analysts told clients “The quarter should again be led by T-Mobile and a continued recovery at Verizon.”
AT&T is expected to announce that it added 500K net new postpaid subscribers during Q4
While Cowan sees T-Mobile
reporting a leading 860,000 net new postpaid phone subscribers for Q4 2023, it expects Charter Communications to be next with an estimated number of fourth-quarter net new postpaid phone additions of 535,000 subscribers. It forecasts AT&T
will be next with 506,000, Comcast with 335,000, and Verizon
with 230,000. Morgan Stanley expects T-Mobile
‘s Q4 net new postpaid additions to hit 883,000 with 267,000 for Verizon
. Should Verizon
hit the figures estimated by Cowan or Morgan Stanley, it would more than double the 100,000 net new postpaid additions it had during Q3 of 2023.
During a fourth-quarter investors conference in December, AT&T CFO Pascal Desroches said that his company would have net new postpaid phone additions for the quarter of 500,000 which is in line with Cowan’s forecast for the company. For Q3, AT&T reported 468,000 net new postpaid phone subscribers.
T-Mobile‘s stock is the most popular of the major wireless firms among Wall Street analysts. The stock (TMUS) closed Friday at $162.54, less than $2 away from its 52-week high of 164.50. The stock is up 10.6% over the last year.