MetroPCS’ stock slide again on weak 2Q numbers

NEW YORK (AP) ? MetroPCS Communications Inc.’s stock fell again Thursday, two days after the low-cost wireless carrier reported second-quarter results that missed Wall Street’s expectations.

THE EARNINGS NUMBERS: MetroPCS’ net income was $84.3 million, or 23 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30. Excluding special items, the company earned 24 cents per share, below the 28 cents per share that analysts polled by FactSet had expected. Results came before the market opened Tuesday.

THE CUSTOMER NUMBERS: Pacific Crest analyst Steve Clement said economic and seasonal factors drove higher customer turnover in the second quarter, which caused customer numbers to miss expectations. MetroPCS, which sells prepaid, flat-rate wireless service plans with no contract requirement, added about 200,000 customers in the second quarter to finish the period with about 9.1 million. The company’s “churn,” or average monthly customer turnover rate, was 3.9 percent in the quarter.

THE SMARTPHONE IMPACT: Clement said MetroPCS is seeing no difference in churn rates between its smartphone customers and those with regular cellphones, known as feature phones. That makes the economic returns on smartphone customers challenging because their phones are more heavily subsidized by the company, and they use the network more.

SHARE ACTION: MetroPCS’ stock fell $1.46, or 14.2 percent, to $8.81 in midday trading Thursday. The stock has lost nearly half of its value since Monday’s close at $16.18.