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American Tower (AMT) Up 6.2% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Continue?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for American Tower (AMT - Free Report) . Shares have added about 6.2% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is American Tower due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

American Tower's Q1 AFFO Misses, Revenues Top Estimates

American Tower delivered first-quarter 2019 AFFO per share of $1.84, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.86. Nonetheless, the figure improved 6.4% from the year-ago quarter’s tally of $1.73.  

Results were driven by growth in revenues in the property segment as well improvement in adjusted EBITDA. However, cash from operations for the March-end quarter declined on a year-over-year basis.

The company generated total revenues of $1.81 billion, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.80 billion. The figure climbed 4.1% year over year.

Operating Metrics

Adjusted EBITDA in the reported quarter was $1,114 million, up 38.2% from the prior-year quarter’s figure.

Adjusted EBITDA margin was 61.5% in the first quarter. Selling, general, administrative and development expenses totaled $198.1 million, down from $204.9 million incurred in the year-earlier quarter. Operating income was $614.9 million compared with $402.9 million reported in the year-ago quarter.

Cash Flow and Liquidity

In the first quarter, American Tower generated $785 million of cash from operations, down 0.8% year over year. Free cash flow in the first quarter was $555 million, down 5.3% year over year.

At the end of the quarter, the company had around $1 billion in cash and cash equivalents, down from $1.2 billion at the end of December 2018. Further, it had around $2.6 billion under its revolving credit facilities (net of any outstanding letters of credit).

Property Segment

Quarterly revenues grossed $1,786 million, up 4.4% year over year. Operating profit was $1,139 million and operating profit margin was 64% during the quarter.

Within the Property segment, revenues from the United States totaled $986 million, up 5.9% year over year. Total international revenues amounted to $800 million, up 2.7% year over year. Within this, revenues from Asia totaled $289 million, which improved 5.8% year over year. EMEA revenues grossed $178 million, up 1.9% year over year. Latin America revenues totaled $333 million and inched up 0.5% year over year.

Services Segment

Quarterly revenues totaled $27 million, down 12.7% year over year. Operating profit was $14 million and operating profit margin was 51% in the quarter under review.

Outlook for 2019

For 2019, American Tower has revised guidance and anticipates property revenues in the range of $7,135-$7,285 million, indicating a decline of 1.4% at the mid-point. Net income is expected between $1,560 million and $1,660 million, marking growth of 27.3% at the mid-point. Adjusted EBITDA is projected at $4,420-$4,520 million, indicating a mid-point decline of 4.2%. Consolidated AFFO is estimated in the band of $3,375-$3,475 million, reflecting a mid-point contraction of 3.2%.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, fresh estimates flatlined during the past month.

VGM Scores

Currently, American Tower has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with a D. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of F on the value side, putting it in the fifth quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

American Tower has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.


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