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Crown Castle (CCI) Surpasses Q3 FFO and Revenue Estimates

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Crown Castle International Corp.’s (CCI - Free Report) third-quarter 2021 adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) per share of $1.77 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.72. Moreover, the figure came in 13% higher than the year-ago quarter’s $1.56.

Net revenues of $1.62 billion improved 8.9% year over year in the third quarter. Further, the reported figure beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.61 billion.

Growth in site-rental revenues aided the top-line performance. Amid a robust tower leasing environment, the company has also raised its common stock dividend by 11%.

Per management, “The dividend increase is supported by the expected combined growth in 2021 and 2022, and represents the second-consecutive year of dividend growth that meaningfully exceeds our long-term growth target of 7% to 8% per year.”

Quarter in Detail

Site-rental revenues came in at $1.5 billion, up 8.4% year over year. The organic contribution of $77 million to the site rental revenues reflects 5.8% year-over-year growth. Further, services and other revenues rose 13.6% year over year to $167 million.

Quarterly operating expenses flared up 3.8% year over year to $1.09 billion. The operating income climbed 21.2% year over year to $526 million. The quarterly adjusted EBITDA of $976 million marked a 10.5% year-over-year increase.

The company reported a capital expenditure of $283 million for the third quarter. This included $262 million of discretionary capital expenditure and $21 million of sustaining capital expenditure.

Balance Sheet

Crown Castle exited third-quarter 2021 with cash and cash equivalents of $357 million, up from the $232 million reported at the end of Dec 31, 2020.

Also, debt and other long-term obligations aggregated $20.3 billion, up from the $19.1 billion witnessed at the end of 2020.

Dividend

On Oct 20, Crown Castle announced a quarterly cash dividend of $1.47 per common share, marking a rise of 11% from the prior quarter’s dividend of $1.33 per share. The dividend will be paid out on Dec 31 to common stockholders of record as of the close of business on Dec 15, 2021.

Guidance

The company has issued the full-year outlook for 2021 and 2022. For 2022, the AFFO per share is anticipated to be $7.31-$7.41. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is pegged at $7.32. Management estimates site-rental revenues of $5,952-$5,997 million. The adjusted EBITDA is projected at $3,999-$4,044 million.

The current full-year 2021 outlook has remained unchanged from the prior outlook. The AFFO per share is anticipated to be $6.78-$6.89. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is pegged at $6.86. Management estimates site-rental revenues of $5,677-$5,722 million. The adjusted EBITDA is projected at $3,764-$3,809 million.

Crown Castle currently carries a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

We now look forward to the earnings releases of other REITs like Boston Properties (BXP - Free Report) , Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (ARE - Free Report) and Highwoods Properties, Inc. (HIW - Free Report) . While Alexandria Real Estate is slated to report third-quarter results on Oct 25, Boston Properties and Highwoods Properties will announce on Oct 26.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represents funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.