American Tower shares rise on strong earnings


American Tower (NYSE: AMT) bucked the downward trend on Wall Street today, rising on a strong earnings report and an improved financial outlook for the year. The Boston-based wireless infrastructure company said full-year EBDITA should be about $1.59 billion, $20 million higher than its previous forecast. The company also said it is on track to reorganize as a real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Before the end of the year, American Tower says it will hold a special shareholders’ meeting, complete the distribution of accumulated earnings and profits, and prepare to introduce a quarterly dividend to begin in early 2012.

Total revenue for the quarter was up 22.8% from the year-ago quarter to $630.4 million. Total rental and management revenue rose 23.0% to $614.8 million. Total rental and management gross margin increased 18.3% to $458.9 million. The adusted EBITDA margin was 64%.

The company said total rental and management revenue core growth was 24.2%. Core growth excludes the positive impact of approximately 1.1% due to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations and the negative impact of approximately 2.3% due to straight-line revenue recognition.

Jim Taiclet, American Tower’s Chief Executive Officer stated, “Our company strives to be world class in two core competencies: operating communications real estate assets to maximize growth and efficiency and evaluating and successfully acquiring, constructing, and integrating these types of assets on a global basis. Our third quarter results again demonstrate our competitive advantage in both of these areas.”

American Tower currently owns and operates approximately 40,000 communications sites in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ghana, India, Mexico, Peru and South Africa.

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Martha DeGrasse

Wireless Martha DeGrasse has been creating content for RCR Wireless News since 2011. Recent feature reports include Building Tomorrow's Neworks, Outdoor DAS and Small Cell Case Studies, Wireless Infrastructure Service Company Review, and Investing in HetNets. (All of these can be found by clicking on Reports at the top of this page.) At RCR, Martha also developed the 5 Things to Know Today series and the Mobile Minute. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York. Martha left Dow Jones to move to Austin, Texas, where she managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Follow her on Twitter @mdegrasseRCR