AMT Confident in AT&T and Sprint  

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By Jody McCoy

Amir Rozwadowski at Barclays recently met with American Tower (AMT) CEO Jim Taiclet, who provided insight on the industry. “American Tower was comfortable that rapid U.S. data growth should fuel a pickup in carrier macro tower activity,” Rozwadowski wrote.  “Specifically, the expectation is AT&T’s spending is likely to revert to a trend average level which should be higher than current activity levels given the level of pullback experienced by the carrier.  We would note that this message is compatible with the tone from peer tower companies as well (SBA, Crown Castle), who seem to be pointing to signs for a gradual recovery at the carrier potentially emerging in 2H15.” AT&T’s wireless capex pullback has affected many tower companies throughout the U.S., both big and small. However, many analysts feel that with the approval of the AT&T/DirecTV merger the company will increase spending in the near future. Sprint has also been slow on activity lately, and Rozwadowski wrote, “American Tower did note that Sprint is one of the more consistent customers in the U.S. (spending doesn’t fluctuate much quarter-to-quarter), and thus as its Next Generation network plan begins, Sprint could provide new spending opportunities.  In other words, American Tower was encouraged that a Sprint network plan could reset Sprint’s activity levels to a higher baseline after the new network architecture deployment gets underway.”

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