November 5, 2009 / 11:59 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-MetroPCS adds fewer subscribers in Q3, cuts outlook

* Q3 EPS $0.21 vs est $0.09

* Q3 rev beats estimates

* Cuts subscriber, EBITDA forecasts for 2009

Nov 5 (Reuters) - Low-cost wireless carrier MetroPCS Communications Inc PCS.N added fewer subscribers than it expected in the third quarter as competition in the prepaid space intensified, and cut its outlook for the year.

But the company’s quarterly profit and revenue topped market estimates. Average revenue per user rose, as did churn, a measure of customer attrition.

MetroPCS — whose rivals include Leap Wireless LEAP.O and Sprint-Nextel (S.N) unit Boost Mobile — had consolidated net subscriber additions of about 66,000 in the third quarter. This compares with 249,000 in the year-ago period and 206,000 in the second quarter.

Third-quarter net income rose to $73.6 million, or 21 cents a share, from $44.9 million, or 13 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 30 percent to $895.6 million. [ID:nWNAB0638]

Analysts expected earnings of 9 cents a share, excluding exceptional items, on revenue of $869.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For 2009, the company forecast net subscriber additions of 1.0 million to 1.2 million. It expects consolidated adjusted EBITDA of $850 million to $950 million.

It had earlier forecast net subscriber additions of 1.4 million to 1.7 million and consolidated adjusted EBITDA of $900 million to $1.1 billion.

MetroPCS shares closed at $6.62 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by S. John Tilak in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)

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