American Tower Earnings: Swings Up, Topping Expectations

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component American Tower Corporation (NYSE:AMT) climbed to a profit in the third quarter and beat Wall Street’s expectations in the process. American Tower develops, owns, and operates communications sites throughout the country. Among its holdings are wireless communications towers, broadcast communications towers, and distributed antenna system.

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American Tower Corporation Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Reported a profit of $232.1 million (58 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. The infrastructure had a net loss of $15.7 million or a loss of 4 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 13.1% to $713.3 million from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: American Tower Corporation beat the mean analyst estimate of 38 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $671.4 million.

Quoting Management: im Taiclet, American Tower’s Chief Executive Officer stated, “During the third quarter, our disciplined investments in portfolio growth and industry-leading operational efficiency once again yielded strong results, with Core Growth in revenue, Adjusted EBITDA and AFFO all over 18%.We expect a strong finish to 2012, given the robust business momentum we are seeing both in the U.S. and our international markets. Looking forward, we are focused on providing our investors with a compelling total return opportunity, supported by solid growth in both AFFO per share and our dividend.”

Key Stats:

For the past five quarters, the company has seen double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 19.2%, with the biggest boost coming in the first quarter when revenue rose 23.8% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has now surpassed analyst estimates for four quarters in a row. It beat the mark by 6 cents in the second quarter, by 16 cents in the first quarter, and by 20 cents in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Looking Forward: Over the past ninety days, the average estimate for the fourth quarter has fallen from 42 cents per share to 40 cents, indicating that analysts are growing pessisimistic about the company’s performance next quarter. At $1.47 per share, the average estimate for the fiscal year has fallen from $1.65 ninety days ago.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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