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MetroPCS 1Q Profit More Than Doubles On Subscriber Growth

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES MetroPCS Communications Inc.'s (PCS) first-quarter earnings more than doubled as the prepaid wireless-service provider continued to add new subscribers amid demand for its new calling plans and smartphone service. However, the bottom line missed analysts' expectations. "The Internet is going mobile and we believe our subscribers' demand for multimedia and video will continue to increase, specifically within the Android platform," Chairman and Chief Executive Roger D. Linquist said. The company offers its 4G service in all its major metropolitan markets and continues to expect to finish the majority of its planned buildout by the end of this year, Linquist said. MetroPCS's strategy of offering a more straightforward customer plan and more advanced smartphones has helped it continue to attract new customers, even amid increasing competition from nationwide players that have been moving into the prepaid market. In the latest period, net subscriber additions were 725,945 for a total of 8.9 million. MetroPCS reported a profit of $56.4 million, or 15 cents a share, up from $22.7 million, or 6 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 23% to $1.19 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast earnings of 19 cents on revenue of $1.13 billion. Operating margin rose to 12.2% from 10.8% The customer turnover rate fell to 3.1% from 3.7%. Average revenue per customer was up 1.5% amid demand for its wireless and 4G plans. Cost per user increased 5.3% amid 4G network upgrades, increased handset subsidies and other expenses. The company raised its 2011 capital expenditure estimate to $700 million to $900 million from $650 million to $800 million. Shares closed Monday at $16.48 and were inactive premarket. The stock has more than doubled in the past year. -By Tess Stynes, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2481; [email protected]

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