“In the first quarter, we delivered solid results that were in line with our expectations, positioning us well to generate attractive growth in cash flows and dividends per share for the full year 2019,” stated Jay Brown, Crown Castle’s Chief Executive Officer, on the firm’s Q1 2019 call. “This continued growth reflects the strong fundamentals we see across our business, including our major customers spending to improve their current networks while beginning to invest in 5G.”
He explained that the REIT is excited about the opportunity it sees to leverage its portfolio of more than 40,000 towers and 70,000 route miles of dense, high capacity fiber located in the top U.S. markets where it sees the greatest long-term demand.
“We continue to believe our ability to offer towers, small cells and fiber solutions, which are all integral components of communications networks and are shared among multiple tenants, provides us the best opportunity to generate significant growth while delivering high returns for our shareholders. Further, we believe that the U.S. is the best market for communications infrastructure ownership, and we are pursuing that compelling opportunity with our comprehensive offering. With this positive momentum across our towers and fiber segments, we remain focused on investing in our business to generate future growth and delivering dividend per share growth of 7% to 8% per year.”
Of the many highlights this quarter, the REIT said that site rental revenues grew approximately 6%, or $66 million, from first quarter 2018 to first quarter 2019, inclusive of approximately $65 million in Organic Contribution to Site Rental Revenues and a $1 million increase in straight-lined revenues. The $65 million in Organic Contribution to Site Rental Revenues represents approximately 5.7% growth, comprised of approximately 9.5% growth from new leasing activity and contracted tenant escalations, net of approximately 3.8% from tenant non-renewals.
“We are excited about the positive long-term industry fundamentals that are creating significant demand for our communications infrastructure, which is translating into the higher levels of new leasing activity we are experiencing this year across our tower and fiber assets,” stated Dan Schlanger, Crown Castle’s Chief Financial Officer. “With our recent financing activities, we believe we are well positioned to continue to invest in our business and create significant value for our shareholders by leveraging our leading portfolio of towers and high-capacity fiber assets.”