Crown Castle's Business Model Requires Multiple Carriers
Wed, Jan. 22, 4:09 PM| Comment!
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Nov. 25, 2013, 3:55 PM
- Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), and AIG are the most popular (long) holdings of hedge funds, according to Goldman's latest hedge fund monitor, which analyzed the positions of 783 hedge funds with $1.7T of gross assets. Hedge fund holdings of AIG, however, account for 14 of the company's float compared to negligible amounts for Apple and Google.
- The 20 most concentrated hedge fund holdings as defined by the percent of equity cap owned by the funds has consistently been a significant outperformer, according to Goldman. In order: AN, STZ, JCP, FDO, THC, HRB, BEAM, MU, NWSA, VRSN, CBG, NFLX, GT, TSO, ETFC, MSI, WPX, WYN, HES, CCI. The top 20 last quarter is here.
- Overall, the studied hedge funds' performance leaves a bit to be desired, with average return of 6% YTD. Fewer than 5% outperformed the S&P 500, and 20% of funds posted an absolute loss.
Oct. 21, 2013, 12:46 PM
- Crown Castle (CCI -0.9%) is trading lower following its $4.85B deal to buy and acquire leasing rights to 9.7K AT&T towers, which includes the right to eventually purchase the leased towers for $4.2B. The decline comes even though Crown Castle posted solid Q3 results and issued decent Q4/2014 guidance.
- Nomura sees the deal being modestly accretive, and doesn't like the equity dilution and higher operating leverage that comes with it. Crown Castle is issuing 36M shares of common stock, and 7.5M shares of convertible preferred stock.
- Though Q3 EPS missed by a penny, Crown Castle's AFFO came in at $1.09/share, above a guidance range of $1.02-$1.04/share and up from $0.79/share a year ago. Q4 AFFO is expected to total $1.09-$1.11/share. Crown Castle expects Q4 site rental revenue of $625M-$630M, up from Q3's $621M (+15% Y/Y).
- The company expects 2014 AFFO of $1.546B-$1.561B, up from an expected $1.23B-$1.235B in 2013. The AT&T deal, which increases Crown Castle's tower count by 33% to 40K+, is expected to provide a $245M-$255M boost to 2014 AFFO, exc. financing costs.
Oct. 21, 2013, 6:09 AM
Oct. 20, 2013, 7:58 PM
- Cashing in on the consolidation action among cell phone tower operators, AT&T (T) agrees to lease/sell its tower portfolio to Crown Castle International (CCI) for $4.85B in upfront proceeds.
- Crown Castle will have the rights to lease about 9.1K AT&T towers and purchase roughly 600 others. The average term of the lease rights is about 28 years, after which Crown Castle has an option to purchase the towers for approximately $4.2B. AT&T will sublease space on the towers for at least 10 years with an option to renew up to a total of 50 years.
- AT&T had put the portfolio on the block in September, and two weeks ago a deal with Crown Castle was reported to be close.
- Press release.
Oct. 8, 2013, 5:49 PM
- Bloomberg reports AT&T (T) is close to selling its wireless tower portfolio (already confirmed to be on the block) to Crown Castle (CCI). The news service previously reported a sale could fetch $5B.
- Today's report comes only a month after American Tower announced a deal to buy private Global Tower Partners for $4.8B, and thereby significantly grow its own U.S. tower footprint.
- CCI +0.8% AH.
Sep. 17, 2013, 12:55 PM
- Bloomberg reports AT&T (T +0.6%) is looking for a buyer for its massive cell tower portfolio in a deal that could be worth $5B.
- American Tower (AMT -0.3%), Crown Castle (CCI +0.1%), and SBA (SBAC) are natural potential suitors for part or all of the portfolio. AMT is fresh off announcing a $4.8B deal to acquire private tower owner Global Tower, whose assets are mostly U.S.-based.
- AT&T has spiked slightly higher on the report. A tower sale would help Ma Bell pay down some of the $75.2B in debt it held at the end of Q2, and thus strengthen its balance sheet as it turns its eyes toward Europe.
- Back in March, RBC speculated AT&T could sell its tower assets for a "mid-$5 billion" or higher price tag.
Sep. 9, 2013, 11:26 AM
- The cell tower owner says it "expects to elect REIT status beginning with the taxable year commencing January 1, 2014." (PR)
- Crown Castle (CCI +1.5%) asserts turning into a REIT will lower its weighted average cost of capital. No dividend distributions are expected to be made prior to the conversion, and future distributions will depend on "investment opportunities" around CCI's core business (tower owners have been very acquisition-hungry) and $2.7B in federal net operating losses.
- The company expects to take "certain actions" in 2014 to facilitate compliance with REIT rules. Shareholder/board approval will be needed.
- As Iron Mountain can vouch, getting REIT conversion approval from regulators can sometimes be easier said than done.
Sep. 6, 2013, 10:15 AM
- SBA (SBAC +2.1%) and Crown Castle (CCI +3.2%) have joined American Tower (AMT +4.4%) in rallying following news AMT is acquiring giant private cell tower owner Global Tower Partners for $4.8B ($3.3B in cash + the assumption of $1.5B in debt).
- The WSJ reported a month ago Global Tower, controlled by a REIT managed by Macquarie, was being shopped. The company owns 5.4K U.S. towers and 500 Costa Rican sites, and also has management rights to 9K+ U.S. sites (mostly rooftop assets) and property interests in another 800.
- The deal is expected to close in Q4, and will increase the size of AMT's debt load to $10.3B (offset by just $1B in cash/investments). The announcement comes a month after AMT announced an $811M Mexican/Brazilian tower purchase/lease-back deal with NII Holdings (NIHD +1.4%), and 10 months after it reached a deal to buy 2K German cell sites from KPN for $502M. NII has additional tower assets that could be on the block.
- In July, Muddy Waters criticized the accounting behind an earlier Brazilian tower purchase by AMT. The company strongly refuted Muddy Waters' claims.
Aug. 8, 2013, 7:45 PM
- Goldman strategist David Kostin has identified what he thinks are the top 40 most undervalued stocks; at the time he issued the note yesterday, each stock had at least 20% upside to his price target.
- The list: MPC, ADSK, VTR, CRM, AMT, SPG, HAL, DVN, EXPE, SWN, R, ESV, BRCM, CAM, NBL, WYNN, WYN, NE, VMC, PSX, NBR, CCI, APC, EL, NFX, FSLR, GM, YHOO, CERN, EOG, CTSH, GT, QCOM, MON, VLO, SLB, PCP, AMAT, BMY, NOV.
Aug. 6, 2013, 10:36 PM
- The WSJ reports private cell tower owner Global Tower Partners "is being shopped to larger rivals." Analysts think the company could fetch $4B.
- Global Tower, owned by funds managed by Australian i-bank Macquarie, owns/operates/leases 16K cell sites, 6.4K of which are in the U.S., Mexico, and Costa Rica.
- Publicly-traded tower owners American Tower (AMT - $27.8B market cap), Crown Castle (CCI - $20.5B), and SBA (SBAC - $9.5B) have all shown a willingness to grow their footprints via M&A (I, II, III).
- The recent performance of their shares could make a deal easier to come by. Likewise, the higher valuations being assigned to tower owners (fueled by expectations 4G investments/mobile traffic growth will keep demand strong) could be motivating Macquarie to put Global Tower on sale.
Jul. 24, 2013, 4:29 PM
Jul. 24, 2013, 12:10 AMNotable earnings after Wednesday’s close: AEM, AIZ, AKAM, AMCC, AMP, ANGI, ARII, ASGN, AVB, BDN, BIDU, CA, CAKE, CCI, CDNS, CLGX, CMO, CMRE, COG, CROX, CTXS, CYH, EFX, EGHT, EQIX, ETFC, FB, FBHS, FFIV, FLOW, FLS, FOE, FTNT, GGG, GPRE, HRC, IM, INFN, ITC, ITMN, KEX, LOGI, LSI, LVS, MLNX, MTSN, NFX, OI, OII, ORLY, PDH, PMTC, QCOM, RJF, RRC, RT, RYL, SCI, SGMO, SKX, SLG, SQNM, SRCL, SUSQ, SWFT, SYNC, TAL, TCBI, TER, TEX, TQNT, TRIP, TSCO, TWI, V, VAR, WCRX, WDC, WLL, WRE, WSH, XOOM, ZNGA | Comment!
Jul. 23, 2013, 5:35 PMNotable earnings after Wednesday’s close: AEM, AIZ, AKAM, AMCC, AMP, ANGI, ARII, ASGN, AVB, BDN, BIDU, CA, CAKE, CCI, CDNS, CLGX, CMO, CMRE, COG, CROX, CTXS, CYH, EFX, EGHT, EQIX, ETFC, FB, FBHS, FFIV, FLOW, FLS, FOE, FTNT, GGG, GPRE, HRC, IM, INFN, ITC, ITMN, KEX, LOGI, LSI, LVS, MLNX, MTSN, NFX, OI, OII, ORLY, PDH, PMTC, QCOM, RJF, RRC, RT, RYL, SCI, SGMO, SKX, SLG, SQNM, SRCL, SUSQ, SWFT, SYNC, TAL, TCBI, TER, TEX, TQNT, TRIP, TSCO, TWI, V, VAR, WCRX, WDC, WLL, WRE, WSH, XOOM, ZNGA | Comment!
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