Crown Castle International (NYSE: CCI), a provider of wireless communication solutions, Wednesday said that earnings and funds from operations increased from last year in the first quarter, supported by a 10% revenue growth. The results also topped analysts’ expectations, driving the stock higher in the after-hours session. The company also reaffirmed its financial guidance for fiscal 2019.
The Houston-based real estate investment trust said revenues moved up 10% year-over-year to $1.43 billion in the March quarter and surpassed the estimates. The top-line growth reflects strong spending by major customers on the existing communication networks and new investments in 5G.
Site rental revenues, the main growth driver, grew 6% year-over-year to $1.22 billion during the quarter, supported by organic contributions and higher straight-lined revenues.
Funds from operations, on an adjusted basis, were $606 million, up from $558 million recorded in the first quarter of 2018. Net income and earnings per share more than doubled to $182 million and$0.44 per share, respectively. Analysts were looking for slower growth.
Site rental revenues grew 6% year-over-year in the first quarter, supported by organic contributions and higher straight-lined revenues
“In the first quarter, we delivered solid results that were in line with our expectations, positioning us well to generate attractive growth in cash flows and dividends per share for the full year 2019. This continued growth reflects the strong fundamentals we see across our business, including our major customers spending to improve their current networks while beginning to invest in 5G,” said Crown Castle CEO Jay Brown.
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Reiterating the previously issued outlook, the company said it expects site rental revenues to be in the range of $4.94 billion to $4.98 billion in fiscal 2019. The estimate for net income is between $781 million and $861 million. Full-year adjusted funds from operations are forecast to be in the range of $2.41 billion to $2.46 billion. In each case, the outlook represents an increase from the fiscal 2018 results.
The management expects the positive start to the year will position the company to achieve significant growth in cash flows and dividends per share in 2019.
Earlier this month, shares of Crown Castle climbed to a record high after making steady gains since the beginning of the year. The stock closed Wednesday’s trading session lower but moved up during the extended session after the earnings report.