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American Tower 4Q net income tumbles 34 pct

BOSTON (AP) -- American Tower, without an income tax provision that had boosted earnings last year, reported Tuesday that its fourth-quarter net income fell 34 percent.

The company's conversion to a real estate investment trust reversed some deferred liabilities and tax assets.

The company also took a hit of $39.4 million during the quarter for valuation allowances tied to its international rental and management business.

The wireless communications infrastructure company earned $135.7 million, or 34 cents per share, down from $205.1 million, or 52 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

The year-ago quarter included a tax benefit of $121 million.

Revenue rose 18 percent to $768.4 million from $653.2 million, as total rental and management revenue increased 15 percent to $739.7 million.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 41 cents per share on $741.6 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

American Tower began operating as a real estate investment trust last year. REITs get favorable tax treatment but must pay out a high percentage of their income in dividends.

Adjusted funds from operations rose 5 percent to $289.7 million, or 72 cents per share. FFO is considered a key financial measure for real estate investment trusts. It adds back such items as amortization and depreciation to net income.

Domestic rental and management revenue rose 8 percent to $499.9 million, while international rental and management revenue jumped 36 percent to $239.8 million.

For the full year, American Tower Corp. earned $637.3 million, or $1.60 per share, up from $396.5 million, or 99 cents per share, in 2011. Revenue rose to $2.88 billion from $2.44 billion.

The company projected 2013 net income of $765 million to $840 million, below average analysts' predictions of $848.9 million.