Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE:CCI) Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Oct 19, 2017 • 09:00 am ET

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Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE:CCI) Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day and welcome to the Crown Castle Q3 2017 Earnings Call. Today's conference is being recorded.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Son Nguyen. Please go ahead.

Executive
Son Nguyen

Thank you, Gina; and good morning everyone. Thank you for joining us today as we review our third quarter 2017 results. With me on the call this morning are Jay Brown, Crown Castle's CEO; and Dan Schlanger, Crown Castle's CFO. To aid the discussion, we have posted supplemental materials in the Investors section of our website at crowncastle.com, which we will refer to throughout the call this morning.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

With that, I'll turn the call over to Jay.

Executive
Jay Brown

Thanks, Son; and thank you, everyone, for joining us on the call this morning. As you saw from our press release yesterday, we continue to build on our track record of delivering great financial results with another strong quarter that exceeded our expectations.

As Dan will discuss in further detail, our third results and 2018 outlook clearly demonstrate how strong our business is performing today and our expectation of those positive trends will continue into 2018. As a result of the sustainability and growth in our cash flows, we are increasing our quarterly common stock dividend by 11% per share, reflecting our expectations of continued growth in 2018 and the anticipated contribution from the pending acquisition of Lightower which remains on track to close by year-end.

As we look beyond 2018, we see a tremendous opportunity to leverage our unparallel portfolio of towers, small cells and fiber to deliver 7% to 8% long-term annual growth and dividends per share by capitalizing on the attractive secular growth trends driving demand for our leading portfolio of shared communications infrastructure assets.

To keep pace with the anticipated demand, growth and data, we expect significant investments by our customers across our towers, small cells and fiber for years to come. According to industry estimates, mobile data is expected to grow nearly 40% annually through 2021, largely tied to 4G use cases including the continued adoption of high bandwidth applications such as mobile video and the increasing number of connected devices. These trends further highlighted by the carriers recent move to unlimited data plans in the US which we believe are likely to result in our customers competing on network quality and speed.

Similar to the wireless industries, the expected 20% annual growth in wired data traffic is driving additional demand across our dense metro fiber assets. To meet this demand, our strategy is to provide differentiated fiber solutions that serve high bandwidth, multi-location customers such as large enterprises, healthcare providers, educational institutions and carriers. This strategy allows us to enhance our competitive position in small cells by increasing the opportunities we serve with the underlying fiber assets, thereby improving the already attractive shared economic model we see in our small cell business.

Turning to the bigger picture, our portfolio of towers, small cells and fiber uniquely positions Crown Castle to