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American Tower Corporation (AMT - Analyst Report) is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2013 financial results before the opening bell on Feb 25, 2014.

In the prior quarter, the company’s earnings lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a margin of 15.1%.  Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors to Influence This Quarter

American Tower is rapidly expanding in the international markets, especially in the emerging Asian and Latin American markets. Although this geographic diversification will boost revenues, it may jeopardize the bottom line. Tower operations in the emerging markets are not as profitable as that in the mature U.S. market.

Despite increased deployment of 3G/4G network by carriers across the world and aggressive buyouts of towers in emerging markets, the company is exposed to stiff competition and new technologies.

Customer concentration is very high for American Tower, and the top four customers accounted for nearly 60% of its quarterly revenues. The loss of any of these customers or consolidation among these wireless carriers will have a significant material impact on the company’s top line.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that American Tower is likely to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. Unfortunately, this is not the case here as elaborated below.The Sell-rated stocks (#4 and 5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement.

Zacks ESP: The Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are poised at $0.47. Hence, the ESP is 0.00%.

Zacks Rank: American Tower’s Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) decreases the predictive power of ESP.

We caution investors against the stock going into the earnings announcement, as a Zacks Earnings ESP of 0.00% combined with a Zacks Rank #3 lowers the possibility of an earnings surprise.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies to consider as our model shows these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

Winthrop Realty Trust (FUR - Snapshot Report) with earnings ESP of +12.50% and Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Physicians Realty Trust (DOC - Snapshot Report) with earnings ESP of +21.43% and Zacks Rank #3.

Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC - Analyst Report) with earnings ESP of +33.33% and Zacks Rank #3.

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