MetroPCS Communications Inc. (PCS)
Q4 2008 Earnings Call
February 26, 2009 9:00 am ET
Keith Terreri - VP of Finance and Treasurer
Roger Linquist - Chairman, President and CEO
Tom Keys - COO
Braxton Carter - EVP and CFO
David Barden - Banc of America
Scott Malat - Goldman Sachs
Brett Feldman - Barclays Capital
Ric Prentiss - Raymond James
Simon Flannery - Morgan Stanley
Romeo Reyes - Jeffries
Welcome to the MetroPCS Communications fourth quarter and yearend 2008 conference call. (Operator Instructions)
I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Keith Terreri, Vice President and Treasurer for MetroPCS. Please go ahead, Sir.
Thank you, Dixie, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to our fourth quarter and yearend 2008 conference call.
Previous Statements by PCS
» MetroPCS Communications Inc. Q3 2009 Earnings Call Transcript
» MetroPCS Communications Inc. Q1 2009 Earnings Call Transcript
» MetroPCS Communications Inc. Q3 2008 Earnings Call Transcript
The format for today's call is as follows. First, Roger will provide an overview of our business; then, Tom will provide an update on a number of operational results and initiatives; and then, Braxton will review the financial highlights of the fourth quarter and full year 2008, followed by a Q&A session.
During today's call we will refer to certain non-GAAP financial measures. We reconcile these historical non-GAAP measures to GAAP measures in our earnings release, which is available in the Investor Relations section of our website, at metropcs.com, under the Investor Relations tab.
Before I turn the call over to Roger, I want to remind you that certain information that we will discuss in this conference call may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Federal Securities laws. Words such as believes, anticipates, expects, intends, should, could, would, estimates, projects and other similar expressions, typically identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or the timing of events to differ materially from those made in the forward-looking statements. We cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements discussed on this conference call will be attained.
Our forward-looking statements are also subject to the risk factors described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and we encourage you to review them. We would like to remind you that the results for the fourth quarter or full year 2008 may not be reflective of results for any subsequent period.
For anyone listing to a taped or webcast replay, or reviewing a written transcript of today's call, please note that all information presented, including our reaffirmation of guidance for 2009, is current only as of February 26, 2009, and should be considered valid only as of today, February 26, 2009, regardless of the date reviewed or replayed. MetroPCS disclaims any intention or obligation to revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. The company does not plan to update or reaffirm guidance, except through formal public disclosure pursuant to Regulation FD.
I hope by now you've had a chance to review our earnings release issued this morning, with the financial and operational results for the fourth quarter and the full year 2008. I would encourage everyone to read our earnings release in conjunction with the information discussed in this call, along with previous SEC filings. We intend to file our 2008 annual report on Form 10-K by Monday, March 2.
At this time, I'd like to turn the call over to our Chairman, President and CEO, Roger Linquist.
Good morning and welcome to the MetroPCS fourth quarter and yearend 2008 earnings call. Thank you for joining us this morning. We are very pleased to report both a strong fourth quarter and full year 2008. We reported the highest consolidated quarterly net subscriber additions in our company's history in the fourth quarter.
Throughout 2008, both our core and expansion markets continued to gain meaningful penetration, even given the significant headwinds of a deteriorating economy. Indeed, over the past year, we added over 1.4 million net subscriber additions, and continue to add additional value to our existing plans by adding services, expanded coverage in existing MetroPCS markets and launched coverage in several new markets.
Furthermore, this growth was accomplished with our continuing focus on cost controls and increased EBITDA margins. On a consolidated basis, we grew our total subscriber base by 35% in 2008.
During what continues to be difficult economic times, we have remained focused on execution, and I'm pleased with how well our business has performed. We believe the ongoing trend of voice going wireless is helping drive our strong results. Residential wireline access line losses at the largest national telephone companies were 11 to 12% during the quarter, and we expect this trend to continue.
With unemployment rates continuing to rise, it is important for people to have wireless service that's predictable, affordable and flexible. We believe the economy will continue to be difficult for the foreseeable future, and we believe we are perfectly positioned to offer customers a superior value proposition.
We are also seeing a greater awareness among consumers of the availability and practicality of unlimited wireless plans. Within the wireless industry, some analysts forecast that the unlimited segment of wireless will garner a significantly increased percentage of industry net additions.
We agree with this prediction and believe that traditional postpaid net addition growth will slow at a faster rate. In fact, postpaid gross additions in the fourth quarter were primarily driven by innovative smartphones such as the iPhone and BlackBerry Storm. We are very well positioned to take advantage of the growing trend to unlimited service, as we are the pioneer in selling a flat-rate, no signed contract unlimited service.