Outlook for 2018
Crown Castle (CCI) has increased its site rental revenue estimate for 2018 by $36 million to $4.6 billion, representing a 26% YoY (year-over-year) gain. It also increased its EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) estimate, by $36 million to $3.1 billion. It maintained its AFFO (adjusted funds from operations) estimate of $2.2 billion and trimmed its net income estimate by $4 million to $551 million, representing a 24% YoY gain.
The company’s Lightower acquisition added ~$140 million, ~$83 million, and ~$79 million to its site rental revenue, EBITDA, and AFFO estimates, respectively. The increase in estimates also reflects two long-term customer agreements signed in 4Q17 regarding new leasing activity and term extensions on existing leases. Higher investments from the company’s major customers in 2018 are expected to boost leasing activity across its towers, small cells, and fiber solutions, and to a higher degree than in 2017.
Results in 4Q17
In 4Q17, Crown Castle reported revenue of $1.2 billion, marking a 20.4% rise YoY and beating analysts’ estimate by $90 million. On the other hand, it reported EPS (earning per share) of $0.17, missing the analyst target by $0.07.
During 2017, the company’s site rental revenue rose 13% YoY to $3.7 billion, its EBITDA rose 11% to $2.5 billion, and its AFFO rose 16% to $1.9 billion. Its net income, which rose 25% to $445 million from $357 million, missed its 2017 estimate by $6 million.
In 3Q17, Crown Castle reported FFO per share of $1.15, while peers American Tower (AMT), SBA Communications (SBAC), and CenturyLink (CTL) reported FFO per share of $1.73, $0.26, and $0.42, respectively. Crown Castle forms 5.0% of the Legg Mason Global Infrastructure ETF (INFR)