MetroPCS Jumps Most Since 2008 as User Gains Top Estimates

MetroPCS Communications Inc. (PCS), the pay- as-you-go U.S. wireless provider, jumped the most in more than two years after reporting first-quarter subscriber additions that beat some analysts’ estimates.

MetroPCS rose $1.67, or 10 percent, to $18.15 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the biggest single- day gain since November 2008. The shares had added 30 percent this year before today.

Dallas-based MetroPCS said in a statement it added 725,945 users in the first quarter. That compares with estimates of 475,000 from Jason Armstrong, an analyst with Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and 350,000 by Todd Rethemeier, an analyst with Hudson Square Research.

“The availability of low-priced Android smartphones on a no-contract plan remains a key driver of strength,” said Armstrong, referring to the Google Inc. (GOOG) handset software. He has a “neutral” rating on MetroPCS shares.

The carrier reported net income more than doubled to $59.8 million from $23.3 million a year earlier, as it boosted revenue by 23 percent to $1.05 billion. MetroPCS also lowered the rate at which customers leave, known as churn, to 3.1 percent from 3.7 percent last year.

MetroPCS, which is introducing a fourth-generation network, offers monthly plans starting at $40 offering unlimited calling and texting. The prices include taxes and fees.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Bensinger in New York at gbensinger1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

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