Crown Castle Announces Q4 Earnings for 2018, Citing “Solid” Results

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Crown Castle, Int’l (CCI) announced its quarterly earning for the fourth quarter of 2018 late yesterday afternoon. The company will hold a conference call for analysts later this morning at 10:30 a.m. EST.  The conference call may be accessed by dialing 888-204-4368 and asking for the Crown Castle call (access code 3601569) at least 30 minutes prior to the start time. 

It may also be accessed live over the internet at http://investor.crowncastle.com.

“We closed out another year of growth with solid results in the fourth quarter and increased our Outlook for 2019, demonstrating the strong fundamentals across our business,” stated Crown Castle CEO Jay Brown. “We are excited about the opportunity we see to leverage the unmatched portfolio of more than 40,000 towers and 65,000 route miles of dense, high capacity fiber that we have built and acquired over the past two decades in the top U.S. markets where we see the greatest long-term demand.  We continue to believe our ability to offer towers, small cells and fiber solutions, which are all integral components of communications networks and are shared among multiple tenants, provides us the best opportunity to generate significant growth while delivering high returns for our shareholders. Further, we believe that the U.S. is the best market for communications infrastructure ownership, and we are pursuing that compelling opportunity with our comprehensive offering. With the positive momentum we continue to see in our towers and fiber segments, we remain focused on investing in our business to generate future growth and delivering dividend per share growth of seven percent to eight percent per year.”  

Highlights from the quarter according to Crown are:

  • Site rental revenues grew approximately 15 percent, or $158 million, from fourth quarter 2017 to fourth quarter 2018, inclusive of approximately $59 million in Organic Contribution to Site Rental Revenues, $82 million in contributions from acquisitions and other items, and a $17 million increase in straight-lined revenues.  The $59 million in Organic Contribution to Site Rental Revenues represents approximately 5.6 percent growth, comprised of approximately 7.7 percent growth from new leasing activity and contracted tenant escalations, net of approximately 2.1 percent from tenant non-renewals. When compared to the prior fourth quarter 2018 Outlook issued on October 17, 2018, site rental revenues were approximately $15 million higher than expected and included approximately $10 million of additional straight-lined revenues primarily resulting from term extensions associated with leasing activity.
  • Net income. Net income for fourth quarter 2018 was $213 million, compared to $98 million during the same period a year ago.
  • Adjusted EBITDA. When compared to the prior fourth quarter 2018 Outlook, Adjusted EBITDA was impacted by approximately $10 million of higher costs associated with the combination of additional accruals for annual bonuses relating to full year 2018 results and expenses related to certain natural disasters that occurred during the fourth quarter.  In addition, Adjusted EBITDA was also impacted by approximately $5 million of lower services contribution that is now expected to contribute to Adjusted EBITDA in 2019.
  • Capital expenditures. Capital expenditures during the quarter were $500 million, comprised of $18 million of land purchases, $30 million of sustaining capital expenditures, $447 million of revenue generating capital expenditures and $5 million of integration capital expenditures. The revenue generating capital expenditures of $447 million included $349 million attributable to Fiber and $98 million attributable to Towers.
  • Common stock dividend. During the quarter, Crown Castle paid common stock dividends of $1.125 per common share, an increase of approximately 7 percent on a per share basis compared to the same period a year ago.

January 24, 2019

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