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American Tower 3rd-qtr net income slides 22 pct

The Associated Press

NEWS: American Tower Corp. posted sharply lower earnings in the third quarter as higher expenses, especially from losses related to foreign currency fluctuations, outweighed higher revenue.

DETAILS: The wireless communications infrastructure company said the popularity of smartphones and tablet computers helped boost results, as people are "continuously upgrading devices and using more applications and bandwidth." This means wireless service providers are "aggressively upgrading their networks to capture this business, further driving demand for tower space," CEO Jim Taiclet said in a statement.

NUMBERS: The company earned $180.1 million, or 45 cents per share, down from earnings of $232.1 million, or 58 cents per share, in the 2012 third quarter. The latest quarter's results included losses of $30.9 million due to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates related to intercompany loans and other items. Operating expenses rose 19 percent to $499 million.

Adjusted Funds From Operations increased 24 percent to $367.3 million, from $295.3 million last year. FFO is considered a key financial measure for real estate investment trusts like American Tower. It adds back such items as amortization and depreciation to net income.

Analysts, on average, expected FFO of 91 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue increased 13 percent to $807.9 million from $713.3 million last year.

Wall Street was expecting revenue of $821.4 million.

FUTURE: For the full year, the company expects adjusted funds from operations to range between $1.46 billion and $1.48 billion, narrowing its previous outlook of $1.43 billion to $1.48 billion. It said it expects net income of $580 million to $620 million, down from its prior estimate of $655 million to $695 million. The company did not give per-share figures.

Analysts were expecting net income of $700.2 million, on average.

STOCK: Shares of the Boston-based company added 39 cents to $80.68 in midday trading.