Crown Castle retains revenue outlook despite COVID-19

Telecom tower company Crown Castle says it will not change its earlier revenue guidance $5.36 billion in 2020 as compared with $5.093 billion in 2019 — despite COVID-19 related concerns.
Communication towersJay Brown, chief executive officer of Crown Castle, said: “Our business continues to perform well during this period of uncertainty with COVID-19.”

Crown Castle’s telecom site rental revenues rose 5.5 percent to $1.31 billion during the first quarter of 2019.

Capital expenditures during the first quarter were $447 million, comprised of $13 million of discretionary land purchases, $21 million of sustaining capital expenditures and $413 million of discretionary capital expenditures.

The discretionary capital expenditures included approximately $319 million attributable to Fiber and approximately $87 million attributable to Towers.

“Our strategy and unmatched portfolio of more than 40,000 towers and approximately 80,000 route miles of fiber concentrated in the top 100 U.S. markets have positioned Crown Castle to generate growth in cash flows,” Jay Brown said.

Uncertainty around the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint had impacted the business of Crown Castle in the first quarter. “With the merger now complete, we believe this slowdown will prove temporary as we anticipate a significant increase in industry activity in the second half of this year,” Jay Brown said.

Crown Castle relies on US-based telecom carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile for its business. AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile began to spend money to improve their existing networks and expand 5G.

Crown Castle said it has 45,000 small cells on air and expects to deploy 10,000 small cells this year.

Crown Castle generated 3 percent revenue growth from fiber solutions business in the first quarter and anticipates similar levels of growth in 2020. This growth is due to the increased bandwidth requirements from large enterprise and carrier customers.

“Though, we have not seen a material impact from COVID-19 on our ability to deliver for our new small cell and fiber solutions customers, we could see some new challenges emerge with respect to getting construction crews to sites or traversing an already difficult zoning and permitting environment,” Jay Brown said.