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Crown Castle: 3Q Earnings Snapshot

HOUSTON (AP) _ Crown Castle International Corp. (CCI) on Wednesday reported a key measure of profitability in its third quarter. The results topped Wall Street expectations.

The real estate investment trust, based in Houston, said it had funds from operations of $579 million, or $1.39 per share, in the period.

The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for funds from operations of $1.38 per share.

Funds from operations is a closely watched measure in the REIT industry. It takes net income and adds back items such as depreciation and amortization.

The company said it had net income of $136 million, or 33 cents per share.

The operator of wireless communications towers, based in Houston, posted revenue of $1.38 billion in the period, also beating Street forecasts. Eight analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.35 billion.

For the current quarter ending in December, Crown Castle expects its per-share funds from operations to range from $1.42 to $1.44.

The company expects full-year funds from operations in the range of $5.48 to $5.50 per share.

The company's shares have dropped almost 4 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen 5 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $106.79, a rise of slightly more than 5 percent in the last 12 months.

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This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on CCI at https://www.zacks.com/ap/CCI