Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Crown Castle raises its financial outlook

Crown Castle reported Q2 site rental revenues of $1,238 billion, up 6% from $1,169 billion for the same period a year earlier.

Crown Castle owns, operates and leases more than 40,000 cell towers and approximately 75,000 route miles of fiber supporting small cells and fiber solutions across every major U.S. market.

"We delivered terrific results in the second quarter that exceeded our expectations and reflect the strong demand for our unmatched portfolio of towers, small cells and fiber assets," stated Jay Brown, Crown Castle’s Chief Executive Officer.  "We 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.  We remain excited about our ability to continue to generate attractive growth and returns for our shareholders as we remain focused on delivering dividend per share growth of 7% to 8% per year.

"We entered 2019 with momentum building on the tower side of the business, and I am excited that we are experiencing even higher levels of tower activity than we expected, which is driving an increase to our full year 2019 Outlook.  Our current tower leasing activity is our highest in more than a decade, and we believe this level of activity will carry into next year.  Additionally, we are constructing small cells for our customers as they invest in their current networks while beginning 5G deployments.  The significant increase in small cell deployments is straining the response time of municipalities and utilities, resulting in longer construction timelines than we previously experienced.  These pressures are most acute in several top markets where we are seeing the highest volume of activity.  Due to the elongated construction timelines, we now expect to deploy approximately 10,000 small cells in 2019, which is at the low end of our prior expected range of 10,000 to 15,000, but approximately 30% more than what we delivered last year.  We expect the increase in tower activity, offset by longer small cell timelines, to generate higher expected AFFO per share growth of 8% for 2019, up from our prior Outlook of 7% growth and at the high end of our long-term growth target."