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American Tower (AMT) Q1 AFFO Beats Estimates, Revenues Lag

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American Tower Corporation AMT has reported first-quarter 2021 adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) per share of $2.46, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.32. Also, the reported figure improved 16% year over year.

The company generated total revenues of $2.16 billion, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.18 billion. Nonetheless, the figure improved 8.3% year over year.

Declining revenues in the Asia Pacific property segment dampened results. Nonetheless, the company witnessed strong year-over-year organic tenant billing growth of 4.1%.

Per management, “in the U.S., we expect that the gathering 5G momentum will enable us to leverage our extensive site portfolio and mutually beneficial relationships with key tenants to drive sustainable, predictable, recurring long-term growth in cash flows. Internationally, large multinational carriers are aggressively investing in their wireless networks to keep pace with rapidly growing mobile data usage as smartphone penetration accelerates and network technologies advance.”

Quarter in Detail

Adjusted EBITDA in the reported quarter was $1.44 billion, up 13.3% from the prior-year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 66.7% in the first quarter of 2021. Operating income was $828.7 million, up from the year-ago quarter’s $736.8 million.

In the first quarter, the company spent $115 million to acquire 116 communication sites, consisting of 48 sites in the United States and 68 sites in Latin America.

Property Segment

Quarterly revenues grossed $2.13 billion, up 7.9% year over year. Operating profit was $1.47 billion and operating profit margin was 69% in first-quarter 2021.

In the Property segment, revenues from the United States totaled $1,231 million, up 13% year over year. Further, total international revenues amounted to $898 million, up 1.7% year over year.

Within this, revenues from the Asia Pacific totaled $281 million, declining 1.8 % year over year. Latin America revenues totaled $337 million, flat year over year. Africa revenues grossed $236 million, up 4.5% year over year, whereas Europe revenues of $45 million improved 29.3% from the year-ago period.

Services Segment

Quarterly revenues totaled $29 million, up 44.7% year over year. Operating profit was $14 million and operating profit margin was 47% in the March-end quarter.

Cash Flow and Liquidity

In the first quarter of 2021, American Tower generated $1.09 billion of cash from operating activities, rising 36.6% year over year. Free cash flow in the period was $758 million, up 31.9% year over year.

At the end of the first quarter, the company had $6.3 billion of total liquidity. This comprised $1.9 billion in cash and cash equivalents, and availability of $4.4 billion under its revolving credit facilities (net of any outstanding letters of credit).

Outlook

For 2021, American Tower anticipates total property revenues of $8,475-$8,625 million, suggesting a year-over-year improvement of 7.5% at the mid-point. Adjusted EBITDA is projected at $5,600-$5,700 million, indicating a mid-point increase of 9.6% from the prior year. Consolidated AFFO is expected to be $4,085-$4,185 million, suggesting a year-over-year mid-point expansion of 9.1%.

Currently, American Tower carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

American Tower Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

American Tower Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
American Tower Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

American Tower Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | American Tower Corporation Quote

Performance of Other REITs

PS Business Parks, Inc. PSB reported first-quarter 2021 core FFO per share of $1.67, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, the reported figure decreased 2.9% year over year.

Boston Properties Inc.’s BXP first-quarter 2021 FFO per share of $1.56 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.55. The quarterly figure also exceeded the mid-point of the company’s guidance by a cent, highlighting better-than-projected portfolio performance and higher fee income.

Highwoods Properties, Inc.’s HIW first-quarter 2021 FFO per share of 91 cents surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 87 cents. However, FFO per share declined 2.2% from 91 cents recorded in the year-ago period.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.

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