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Below is an ongoing record highlighting notes from select AMT investor presentations and earnings calls (newest content shown first).

Fourth Quarter 2018 Earnings Call, 2/27/2019


The Divergent View One Line Summary: AMT reported strong 4Q 2018 earnings marked by record levels of new business in the United States, forecasted a 2020 inflection in growth in India (post equipment de-commissioning in 2019), and provided 2019 guidance that was broadly in-line with analyst estimates.

  • 4Q helped by settlement with Tata and offset by negative impacts of Indian carrier consolidation-driven churn
  • AFFO per share up 19% to $2.40 for 4Q and $7.99 for 2018
  • Record levels of new business in the United States
  • India: Focused on managing through latter stages of carrier consolidation process and positioning for long-term growth
  • Africa: Meaningful investments in fuel management in 2019 while continuing to selectively look for new assets and drive co-location
  • Latam: Capitalize on 4G buildouts across the region
  • Deployed over $4Bn of capital in 2018 including $1.9Bn for M&A (22k new sites), $940mm for capex, $230mm to repurchase shares, and $1.4Bn for common stock dividend
  • Expect 2019 to be another year of strong performance
  • 2018 normalized billings growth of 7.5% driven by 6% volume growth
  • US tenant billings growth of 7.3% was the highest achieved since 2014 –
    • Added 70% more in new business run-rate vs. what was added in 2017
  • 8% normalized tenant billings growth internationally
  • 19% AFFO/share growth in 2018 to $7.99 (exceeded initial outlook by $0.20)
  • 2018 churn events in India will be flowing through 2019
  • 2019 outlook
    • US organic tenant billings growth of around 7% in 2019
    • Dollar growth in 2019 expected to exceed record levels in 2018
    • Latam tenant billings growth of 7-8% for the year
    • Europe tenant billings growth of 6% for the year
    • Asia normalized tenant billings growth of 8-9% for the year (down 20% including India churn)
    • Expect that most redundant equipment in India will be removed by end of 2019. Expect new business contribution per site to be up 15%
    • Normalized AFFO/share of $8.18 ($7.70 actual 2019 outlook) vs. $7.50 normalized 2018 (and $7.99 2018 reported)
  • Expect India to return to high single to low double-digit growth by 2020
  • Q&A with Sell-side Analysts
  • What drove acceleration in the US? And underlying assumptions in 2019 outlook?
    • Strong results in US due to 30-40% ongoing growth in mobile data driving more equipment per site and new spectrum bands leading to more equipment
    • Total mobile carrier capex in the industry above $30Bn which has historically led to mid to high single digit organic tenant billings growth
    • Application pipeline remains really strong and see that continuing into 2019, largely amendment driven (80% amendments and 20% co-lo)
    • No US consolidation embedded in 2019 outlook
  • Metro, Clearwire, Leap churn – do you expect to have churn from those guys at some point?
    • We will continue to see that over the next several years, but that is all within our 1-2% churn rate
  • Incremental EBITDA margin looks a bit lower in the outlook?
    • If you back out straight line impacts, still see 80-90% conversion to EBITDA in the US
  • How is new business trending in Mexico/Brazil?
    • In Mexico, growth going to be in the 8-10% range with Brazil being a bit lower than that
    • Overall, Latam will be generating new business in 2019 vs. 2018
  • Commentary on M&A environment?
    • We have about 3000 towers in M&A pipeline in the forecast
  • Assumptions on health of carriers in India?
    • There is a re-ordering of mobile network architecture in the entire country, where it is going from 2G/3G hybrid to a truly 4G network, which will be a massive transformation
    • This will require a lot of de-commissioning of existing infrastructure, and we see the inflection in this process in 2020
    • This is an outcome we’ve always expected (ie 3-4 significant mobile operators)
  • Sprint/T-mobile
    • Both firms are about 9% of consolidated property revenues.  Overlap where they have sites on the same tower is about 3-4%

UBS Conference, 12/4/2018


Interview with Igor Khislavsky, Head of Investor Relations

  • Main drivers for accelerated organic growth in 2018?
    • Have had a great year so far driven by all four carriers being active this year
  • 2019 trends
    • Trends we are seeing this year are inherently multi-year in nature
    • Third of the way through FirstNet build which is a multi-year initiative
    • Continued strong growth in US over a multi-year period but can’t get into specific numbers yet
    • When you have great year like 2018, the base gets bigger, so percentage growth rate will be smaller for same amount of new business
    • Looking to have another solid year for 2019
  • Verizon tower portfolio growth
    • Growth mostly inline with rest of the portfolio despite VZ adding amendments at no cost due to terms of agreement so there is quite a bit of colocation demand on those sites
  • T-Mo / Sprint deal
    • Net neutral to net positive on the transaction happening. S and T-Mo talked about spending quite a bit of money after deal approval to drive 5G coverage and capacity
    • Overlap exposure is 4% of total revenue today, which is the downside risk
  • As carriers deploy mm wave and C-band spectrum, how are you positioned?
    • CBRS has potential to expand indoor addressable market given lower cost of some CBRS systems, so we are exploring that and could be an opportunity to grow our indoor business which is 2-3% of total today
  • Outdoor small cells?
    • Found that when we model the fiber backed outdoor small cell business when incorporating the cost to acquire the fiber, the higher churn of fiber business, etc, there are decent returns, but the numbers don’t justify deploying returns here vs. other parts of the business
    • Much of it comes down to our ability to deploy capital internationally in macro tower networks
  • Competitive intensity?
    • Nothing that is all that different than what we’ve seen historically
  • India
    • 2018 will have $140mm of consolidation driven churn and next year will be $130mm to $180mm and likely at the higher end of that range
    • 2019 will be a similarly challenging year from a growth perspective. By 2020, we believe most of the carrier consolidation will be wrapped up and may return to high single to low double digit growth rates
    • Have 20% of the towers in India
  • Latam
    • Latam has been great driven by Mexico and the Altan network
    • Oi emerged from bankruptcy in Brazil
  • Europe
    • We have looked at several European assets, but 10-year DCF valuations do not justify the asking prices. For portfolios that have come up for sale, we haven’t even made it to the final round of bidding
  • M&A Pipeline
    • Priority is to gain incremental scale where we already operate today
    • Not much left in the US, so most growth is international. Added Kenya recently, which was a bolt-on to current footprint
  • Double digit AFFO growth goal
    • Next year, will be a bit tough due to Tata settlement accounting but we think we are in good shape to preserve that target long-term although next year may look a bit wacky

Third Quarter 2018 Earnings Call, 10/30/2018


  • Financial highlights – $1.75Bn revenue up 5.8%, EBITDA of $1.095Bn up 5.3%, and $1.85 AFFO up 6.9%
  • Highlight of quarter was the 7.4% organic US billings growth which allowed us to raise expectations to above 7.0% for the full year
  • Major customers embarking on plans for 5G
  • Technology discussion
    • Overwhelming driver of tower demand today is 4G
    • Anticipated deployment of new spectrum assets – 600 MHz for 5G applications are already being deployed on our sites
    • One of the most compelling aspects of 5G expectations is the role of mid-band spectrum such as 2.5 GHz, CBRS spectrum in 3.5 GHZ band and C-Band in 3.7-4.2 GHZ range
    • All these bands are well-suited to macro tower deployment. 5 GHz can propagate much longer distances than mm wave, so it is an intriguing hybrid of low and high band spectrum
    • CBRS spectrum – can significantly expand indoor DAS opportunity
    • Anticipate that 5G will open up new business and services such as IoT
    • Evaluating edge computing – our sites can act as convergence point of wireless networks, cloud services, IoT, and enterprise networks. In discussions with players in numerous industries that may ultimately be edge compute tenants
  • Experiencing strong organic growth in the US driven by 4G but expect that emerging 5G technology will continue growth for many years to come
  • Signed new business in the quarter was up 60% vs 3Q17 which was heavily weighted towards amendments
  • Tata Settlement
    • One-time payment of $320mm in exchange for 80% of run-rate billings on our sites of $120mm which will churn off
    • $30mm in run-rate revenue will continue
    • Now believe that all substantial churn events in India have been accounted for in India
    • Expect high single digit to low double-digit organic growth to continue in 2020-21 timeframe
  • India opportunity
    • 5Bn mobile subscriptions expected by 2022
    • Wireline penetration near zero, making wireless access critical
    • More than 1mm cell sits leases estimated to be needed for 4G coverage up from 600-700k baseline post carrier consolidation
  • Raising US organic growth guidance to over 7% supported by record levels of new business
  • Expect organic billings growth in 4Q to be at least as high as the 7.4% achieved in 3Q
  • In Asia, we expect higher organic gross growth rates, but offset by higher Tata churn
  • Raised 2018 revenue outlook by $325mm driven by $300mm in increased Tata payments
  • Raising expectations for Consolidated AFFO per Share to $7.88 at the midpoint
  • LT target leverage range of 3-5x
  • Q&A with Sell-side Analysts
  • US growth – seemed flat quarter over quarter. Is this current run-rate going forward or factors that could edge it up higher?
    • Growth was up a bit from Q3 vs Q2. This has been a terrific year for the US so encouraged by growth we are seeing and think they are long-term trends
    • Mobile data still growing 30-40% per year and aggregate capex above $30Bn in the US are factors that are supportive of growth
    • Spectrum availability (auctions) is also helpful for growth
  • Steps to get outdoor small cell business to tower like returns?
    • Key is to attaining scale franchise rights in municipalities
    • Everything else is a production input, such as fiber
  • Interest rates going up and capital allocation impacts
    • We’ve done regression analysis on past decisions – highest returns have come from growth capex, next highest return is M&A, and if leftover cash, returning capital
  • Growth drivers in Nigeria and Mexico
    • Mexico – AMT is a significant portion of Altan buildout
    • Nigeria – is a little slow right now vs. prior years but think it will be a good market over time looking at aggregate capex and mobile usage
  • M&A opportunities?
    • Most opportunities we see fall by the wayside as they don’t meet our return thresholds. There are some sizable transactions out there.  Germany and France operations are a beachfront to see what else is out there but haven’t see the right kinds of returns for portfolios that are available for sale
    • Have done some small things in Latam and Africa (like Kenya)
    • Africa is a region where we’d like to get deeper into the market but haven’t yet found the opportunity to do so