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T-Mobile surprises as tech winner in tough stock market

Aug. 15, 2022 Updated Mon., Aug. 15, 2022 at 6:17 p.m.

A sign is posted on the exterior of a T-Mobile store on April 30, 2018 in El Cerrito, California.   (Tribune News Service )
A sign is posted on the exterior of a T-Mobile store on April 30, 2018 in El Cerrito, California.  (Tribune News Service )
By Subrat Patnaik Bloomberg

With everything from once-high-flying software companies to behemoths such as Alphabet Inc. mired in losses this year, investors looking to make money in technology-related stocks have found a surprising winner – T-Mobile U.S. Inc.

The mobile-phone carrier has jumped 26% and is flirting with an all-time high.

It’s the only tech, media or telecommunications stock among the Nasdaq 100 Index’s best performers, other than Activision Blizzard Inc., the video-game company that’s being acquired.

Fast-growing tech companies with high valuations have been hit by higher interest rates, while a slowing economy has weighed on advertising-dependent internet businesses.

But T-Mobile has been surpassing estimates for new subscribers this year, helped by its cut-rate mobile phone plans.

“As we saw during the pandemic, cellular connectivity is essential in modern society and is one of the last things to be cut by consumers,” said Keith Snyder, senior equity analyst at CFRA Research.

“They may drop to lower priced plans and hold off on purchasing new devices, but they won’t cancel service.” He has a strong buy rating on the stock.

T-Mobile has outperformed rivals AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. by aggressively pricing phone plans at lower tariffs, attracting customers whose wallets are being squeezed by rising inflation.

AT&T fell 1.6% this year, while Verizon has slumped 13%.

It also made inroads into building out its 5G network since acquiring Sprint Corp. in 2020, at a time when its rivals were busy shedding their media ventures to turn their focus back to the telecom business.

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