SBA Communications reported that it had a “great start” to 2019 with strong carrier leasing and services results, and it increased expectations for the year, during its first quarter earnings call yesterday.
“Our first quarter was about as simple, straightforward and solid as we could have hoped for,” Jeffrey Stoops, president and CEO, said. “We exceeded our expectations across all financial metrics. We continued to see healthy operational leasing activity and our services business again had a strong quarter.”
Total revenues rose 7.6 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2019 to $493.3 million. Domestic cash site leasing revenue rose 6.7 percent to $361.2 million.
“Our customers rolled into the new year with the continued strong levels of activity we saw in the second half of 2018, and that level of activity continues,” Stoops said. “In the U.S., both our leasing and our services results in the first quarter were ahead of expectations, contributing to the increase in our full year Outlook.”
SBA anticipates increases in site leasing, both organic and inorganic during the rest of the year. Increases in organic growth will come from a higher concentration of amendments versus new leases. SBA has a healthy backlog in services business, but the full year services guidance anticipates a slowdown in the second half due to the Sprint/T-Mobile merger.
During the first quarter, SBA acquired 54 towers for 36.1 million and built 72 sites, mostly internationally. An additional 256 sites are planned to be purchased by the end of the third quarter for 123.9 million.