The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), American Tower met expectations on revenues and crushed expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew significantly, and GAAP earnings per share grew significantly.
Gross margins contracted, operating margins improved, and net margins improved.
American Tower logged revenue of $653.2 million. The 20 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated revenue of $652.5 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 19% higher than the prior-year quarter's $547.6 million.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS came in at $0.51. The 20 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.30 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.51 for Q4 were 143% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.21 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 74.6%, 110 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 37.9%, 80 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 30.8%, 1,560 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $665.9 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.36.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $2.80 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.52.
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 785 members rating the stock outperform and 79 members rating it underperform. Among 190 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 173 give American Tower a green thumbs-up, and 17 give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on American Tower is buy, with an average price target of $66.32.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio.Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of American Tower. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.