American Tower experienced record levels of new business commencements, in the first quarter, according to the company’s earnings report. A robust pipeline of applications for both amendments and new colocations also resulted in our increase in expectations for full year U.S. Organic Tenant Billings Growth to approximately 6.5 percent in 2018.
Jim Taiclet, American Tower’s CEO, said in a press release. “The strong demand we experienced in late 2017 for our telecommunications real estate further accelerated in the U.S. as well as in our Latin America and EMEA regions in the first quarter of 2018. Notably, record levels of new business commencements, along with a robust pipeline of applications for both amendments and new colocations resulted in our increase in expectations for full year U.S. organic tenant billings growth to approximately 6.5 percent in 2018.
Significant network investment initiatives announced by the major U.S. wireless carriers along with network deployments in key markets such as Mexico and Brazil, enabled American Tower to achieve consolidated AFFO per share growth of nearly 10 percent in the first quarter while growing its common stock dividend by approximately 21 percent.
“We remain confident that our U.S. macro tower business, complemented by our franchise small cell installations, extensive international portfolio and emerging innovation initiatives will continue to drive strong growth and attractive total returns for many years to come,” Taiclet said.
During the first quarter of 2018, the Company spent $673 million to acquire nearly 10,600 sites in international markets, including 10,200 sites in India as part of its transaction with Vodafone India Limited. The Company’s previously announced transaction with Idea Cellular Limited in India is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.