Wireless communications towers operator Crown Castle International Corp. (CCI) reported a 117% jump in earnings during the fourth quarter as acquisitions, straight-lined revenues growth, and organic contribution drove site rental revenues higher. The results exceeded analysts’ expectations.
Net income climbed 117% to $213 million, or $0.44 per share, while adjusted funds from operations increased to $591 million from $512 million a year ago. The adjusted FFO was reduced by cash paid for preferred stock dividends during the period in which they are paid.
Net revenue grew 14.6% to $1.42 billion. Site rental revenues grew about 15% to $1.21 billion.
During the quarter, Crown Castle paid common stock dividends of $1.125 per common share, an increase of about 7% on a per share basis compared to the same period a year ago.
Looking ahead into the full year 2019, the company lifted its site rental revenues outlook to the range of $4.939 billion to $4.984 billion from the prior range of $4.898 billion to $4.943 billion. Net income guidance was raised to the range of $781 million to $861 million from a prior range of $738 million to $818 million. However, adjusted FFO is still anticipated to be in the range of $2.413 billion to $2.458 billion.
The company raised its guidance for site rental revenues due to the expected increase in straight-lined revenues primarily resulting from term extensions associated with leasing activity. The expected organic contribution to site rental revenues from 2018 to 2019 represents 6% growth year-over-year compared to 5.6% for the full year 2018.
Shares of Crown Castle ended Wednesday’s regular session up 0.99% at $110.27 on the NYSE. The stock has risen over 3% in the past three months while remaining nearly flat from the past year.
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