28 Oct SBA Communications Corporation Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results
Updates Full Year 2019 Outlook
BOCA RATON, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SBA Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: SBAC) (“SBA” or the “Company”) today reported results for the quarter ended September 30, 2019.
Highlights of the third quarter include:
Strong operating results in both the leasing and site development businesses
Net income of $21.8 million or $0.19 per share
AFFO per share growth of 12.0% over the year earlier period
Closed on South Africa transaction adding 889 towers
“We had another solid performance in the third quarter,” commented Jeffrey A. Stoops, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our customers, domestic and international, continued to stay active primarily with 4G densification work but also, particularly in the U.S., with early 5G deployment. In the U.S., we believe we are at the beginning of a long-term 5G deployment cycle that we expect will sustain activity levels for quite some time, with international markets to follow. Operationally, we executed well again in the third quarter. We closed on the consolidation of our South Africa operation, smoothly integrating approximately 900 towers. We paid our first cash dividend, and allocated capital materially in three areas – portfolio growth, stock repurchases and the cash dividend. All this positive activity helped contribute to double-digit growth in AFFO per share. We look forward to a strong finish to 2019.”
The table below details select financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2019 and comparisons to the prior year period.
($ in millions, except per share amounts)
Site leasing revenue
Site development revenue
Tower cash flow (1)
Earnings per share – diluted
Adjusted EBITDA (1)
AFFO per share (1)
See the reconciliations and other disclosures under “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” later in this press release.
Total revenues in the third quarter of 2019 were $507.5 million compared to $467.2 million in the year earlier period, an increase of 8.6%. Site leasing revenue in the quarter of $468.6 million was comprised of domestic site leasing revenue of $374.7 million and international site leasing revenue of $93.9 million. Domestic cash site leasing revenue was $371.4 million in the third quarter of 2019 compared to $350.4 million in the year earlier period, an increase of 6.0%. International cash site leasing revenue was $93.4 million in the third quarter of 2019 compared to $79.8 million in the year earlier period, an increase of 17.0%, or 17.9% excluding the impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates.
Site leasing operating profit was $375.6 million, an increase of 9.5% over the year earlier period. Site leasing contributed 97.8% of the Company’s total operating profit in the third quarter of 2019. Domestic site leasing segment operating profit was $310.9 million, an increase of 8.5% over the year earlier period. International site leasing segment operating profit was $64.7 million, an increase of 14.9% over the year earlier period.
Tower Cash Flow for the third quarter of 2019 of $376.3 million was comprised of Domestic Tower Cash Flow of $311.6 million and International Tower Cash Flow of $64.7 million. Domestic Tower Cash Flow for the quarter increased 7.4% over the prior year period and International Tower Cash Flow increased 18.2% over the prior year period. Tower Cash Flow Margin was 81.0% for the third quarter of 2019, as compared to 80.2% for the year earlier period.
Net income for the third quarter of 2019 was $21.8 million, or $0.19 per share, and included a $21.0 million loss, net of taxes, on the currency related remeasurement of U.S. dollar denominated intercompany loans with foreign subsidiaries, while net income for the third quarter of 2018 was $16.1 million, or $0.14 per share, and included a $17.1 million loss, net of taxes, on the currency related remeasurement of U.S. dollar denominated intercompany loans with a Brazilian subsidiary.
Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $355.4 million, an 8.3% increase over the prior year period. Adjusted EBITDA Margin was 70.6% in the third quarter of 2019 compared to 71.0% in the third quarter of 2018.
Net Cash Interest Expense was $95.3 million in the third quarter of 2019 compared to $93.7 million in the third quarter of 2018, an increase of 1.7%.
AFFO for the quarter was $247.4 million, an 11.1% increase over the prior year period. AFFO per share for the third quarter of 2019 was $2.15, a 12.0% increase over the prior year period.
During the third quarter of 2019, excluding the sites from the previously announced South Africa investment, SBA acquired 78 communication sites for total cash consideration of $27.8 million. SBA also built 98 towers during the third quarter of 2019. On August 30, 2019, the Company closed on its option to acquire all but 6% of a previously unconsolidated joint venture in South Africa. The cumulative amount invested by the Company in South Africa through the closing date is approximately $140.0 million. At closing, the South Africa joint venture had 889 towers in operation. As of September 30, 2019, including South Africa, SBA owned or operated 30,904 communication sites, 16,385 of which are located in the United States and its territories, and 14,519 of which are located internationally. In addition, the Company spent $15.9 million to purchase land and easements and to extend lease terms. Total cash capital expenditures for the third quarter of 2019 were $171.0 million, consisting of $8.8 million of non-discretionary cash capital expenditures (tower maintenance and general corporate) and $162.2 million of discretionary cash capital expenditures (new tower builds, tower augmentations, acquisitions, and purchasing land and easements).
Subsequent to the third quarter of 2019, the Company acquired 6 communication sites for an aggregate consideration of $6.7 million in cash. In addition, the Company has agreed to purchase and anticipates closing on 107 additional communication sites for an aggregate amount of $32.7 million. The Company anticipates that the majority of these acquisitions will be consummated by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
Financing Activities and Liquidity
SBA ended the third quarter of 2019 with $9.9 billion of total debt, $7.3 billion of total secured debt, $156.9 million of cash and cash equivalents, short-term restricted cash, and short-term investments, and $9.8 billion of Net Debt. SBA’s Net Debt and Net Secured Debt to Annualized Adjusted EBITDA Leverage Ratios were 6.9x and 5.0x, respectively.
On September 13, 2019, the Company, through a trust, issued $1.165 billion of Secured Tower Revenue Securities Series 2019-1C, which have an anticipated repayment date in January 2025 and a final maturity date in January 2050 (the “2019-1C Tower Securities”). The fixed interest rate on the 2019-1C Tower Securities is 2.836% per annum, payable monthly. Net proceeds from this offering were used to repay the entire aggregate principal amount of the 2014-1C Tower Securities ($920.0 million), as well as accrued and unpaid interest, amounts outstanding under the Revolving Credit Facility, and any remaining amount was used for general corporate purposes.
During the third quarter of 2019, the Company repurchased 0.7 million shares of its Class A common stock for $175.7 million, of which $2.7 million was funded in the fourth quarter, at an average price per share of $249.04 under its $1.0 billion stock repurchase plan. All shares repurchased were retired. As of the date of this filing, the Company has $824.3 million of authorization remaining under the plan.
In the third quarter of 2019, the Company declared and paid its first cash dividend of $41.9 million.
The Company is updating its full year 2019 Outlook for anticipated results. The Outlook provided is based on a number of assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable at the time of this press release. Information regarding potential risks that could cause the actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements is set forth below and in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Company’s full year 2019 Outlook assumes the acquisitions of only those communication sites under contract and anticipated to close at the time of this press release. The Company may spend additional capital in 2019 on acquiring revenue producing assets not yet identified or under contract, the impact of which is not reflected in the 2019 guidance. The Outlook also does not contemplate any new financings or any additional repurchases of the Company’s stock in 2019 other than those financings and repurchases completed as of the date of this press release.
The Company’s Outlook assumes an average foreign currency exchange rate of 4.10 Brazilian Reais to 1.0 U.S. Dollar, 1.33 Canadian Dollars to 1.0 U.S. Dollar, and 15.2 South African Rand to 1.0 U.S. Dollar for the fourth quarter of 2019. When compared to the Company’s full year 2019 Outlook provided July 29, 2019, the variances in the actual third quarter foreign currency exchange rates versus the Company’s assumptions, and the changes in the Company’s foreign currency rate assumptions for the remainder of the year negatively impacted the full year 2019 Outlook by approximately $7.7 million for Site Leasing Revenue, $5.0 million for Tower Cash Flow, and $4.6 million for Adjusted EBITDA and AFFO.
(in millions, except per share amounts)
Full Year 2019
Site leasing revenue (1)
Site development revenue
Tower Cash Flow (2)
Adjusted EBITDA (2)
Net cash interest expense (3)
Non-discretionary cash capital expenditures (4)
AFFO per share (2) (5)
Discretionary cash capital expenditures (6)
The Company’s Outlook for site leasing revenue includes revenue associated with pass through reimbursable expenses.
See the reconciliation of this non-GAAP financial measure presented below under “Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”
Net cash interest expense is defined as interest expense less interest income. Net cash interest expense does not include amortization of deferred financing fees or non-cash interest expense.
Consists of tower maintenance and general corporate capital expenditures.
Outlook for AFFO per share is calculated by dividing the Company’s outlook for AFFO by an assumed weighted average number of diluted common shares of 114.8 million. Our Outlook does not include the impact of any potential future repurchases of the Company’s stock during 2019.
Consists of new tower builds, tower augmentations, communication site acquisitions and ground lease purchases. Does not include expenditures for acquisitions of revenue producing assets not under contract at the date of this press release.
Conference Call Information
SBA Communications Corporation will host a conference call on Monday, October 28, 2019 at 5:00 PM (EST) to discuss the quarterly results. The call may be accessed as follows:
Monday, October 28, 2019 at 5:00 PM (EST)
SBA third quarter results
October 28, 2019 at 11:00 PM to November 11, 2019 at 12:00 AM (TZ: Eastern)
(866) 207-1041 – Access Code: 198429
Information Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release and our earnings call include forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Company’s expectations or beliefs regarding (i) the long-term impact of customer activity in 5G deployment both domestically and internationally, (ii) the Company’s financial and operational performance in 2019, (iii) the Company’s financial and operational guidance for the full year 2019, the assumptions it made and the drivers contributing to the change in its full year guidance, (iv) the timing of closing for currently pending acquisitions, and (v) foreign exchange rates and their impact on the Company’s financial and operational guidance.
The Company wishes to caution readers that these forward-looking statements may be affected by the risks and uncertainties in the Company’s business as well as other important factors may have affected and could in the future affect the Company’s actual results and could cause the Company’s actual results for subsequent periods to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement made by or on behalf of the Company. With respect to the Company’s expectations regarding all of these statements, including its financial and operational guidance, such risk factors include, but are not limited to: (1) the ability and willingness of wireless service providers to maintain or increase their capital expenditures; (2) the Company’s ability to identify and acquire sites at prices and upon terms that will provide accretive portfolio growth; (3) the Company’s ability to accurately identify and manage any risks associated with its acquired sites, to effectively integrate such sites into its business and to achieve the anticipated financial results; (4) the Company’s ability to secure and retain as many site leasing tenants as planned at anticipated lease rates; (5) the impact of continued consolidation among wireless service providers, including the impact of the potential T-Mobile and Sprint merger, on the Company’s leasing revenue; (6) the Company’s ability to successfully manage the risks associated with international operations, including risks associated with foreign currency exchange rates; (7) the Company’s ability to secure and deliver anticipated services business at contemplated margins; (8) the Company’s ability to maintain expenses and cash capital expenditures at appropriate levels for its business while seeking to attain its investment goals; (9) the Company’s ability to acquire land underneath towers on terms that are accretive; (10) the economic climate for the wireless communications industry in general and the wireless communications infrastructure providers in particular in the United States, Brazil, and internationally; (11) the Company’s ability to obtain future financing at commercially reasonable rates or at all; (12) the ability of the Company to achieve its long-term stock repurchases strategy, which will depend, among other things, on the trading price of the Company’s common stock, which may be positively or negatively impacted by the repurchase program, market and business conditions; (13) the Company’s ability to achieve the new builds targets included in its anticipated annual portfolio growth goals, which will depend, among other things, on obtaining zoning and regulatory approvals, weather, availability of labor and supplies and other factors beyond the Company’s control that could affect the Company’s ability to build additional towers in 2019; and (14) the Company’s ability to meet its total portfolio growth, which will depend, in addition to the new build risks, on the availability of sufficient towers for sale to meet our targets, competition from third parties for such acquisitions and our ability to negotiate the terms of, and acquire, these potential tower portfolios on terms that meet our internal return criteria. With respect to its expectations regarding the ability to close pending acquisitions, these factors also include satisfactorily completing due diligence, the amount and quality of due diligence that the Company is able to complete prior to closing of any acquisition and its ability to accurately anticipate the future performance of the acquired towers, the ability to receive required regulatory approval, the ability and willingness of each party to fulfill their respective closing conditions and their contractual obligations and the availability of cash on hand or borrowing capacity under the Revolving Credit Facility to fund the consideration. With respect to the repurchases under the Company’s stock repurchase program, the amount of shares repurchased, if any, and the timing of such repurchases will depend on, among other things, the trading price of the Company’s common stock, which may be positively or negatively impacted by the repurchase program, market and business conditions, the availability of stock, the Company’s financial performance or determinations following the date of this announcement in order to use the Company’s funds for other purposes. Furthermore, the Company’s forward-looking statements and its 2019 outlook assumes that the Company continues to qualify for treatment as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes and that the Company’s business is currently operated in a manner that complies with the REIT rules and that it will be able to continue to comply with and conduct its business in accordance with such rules. In addition, these forward-looking statements and the information in this press release is qualified in its entirety by cautionary statements and risk factor disclosures contained in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Commission on February 28, 2019.
This press release contains non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliation of each of these non-GAAP financial measures and the other Regulation G information is presented below under “Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”
This press release will be available on our website at www.sbasite.com.
About SBA Communications Corporation
SBA Communications Corporation is a first choice provider and leading owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure in North, Central, and South America and South Africa. By “Building Better Wireless,” SBA generates revenue from two primary businesses – site leasing and site development services. The primary focus of the Company is the leasing of antenna space on its multi-tenant communication sites to a variety of wireless service providers under long-term lease contracts. For more information please visit: www.sbasite.com.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(unaudited) (in thousands, except per share amounts)
For the three months
For the nine months
ended September 30,
ended September 30,
Cost of revenues (exclusive of depreciation, accretion,
and amortization shown below):
Cost of site leasing
Cost of site development
Selling, general, and administrative (1)
Acquisition and new business initiatives related
adjustments and expenses
Asset impairment and decommission costs
Depreciation, accretion, and amortization
Total operating expenses
Other income (expense):
Non-cash interest expense
Amortization of deferred financing fees
Loss from extinguishment of debt, net
Other income (expense), net
Total other income (expense), net
Income (loss) before income taxes
(Provision) benefit for income taxes
Net income (loss)
Net income attributable to the noncontrolling interest
Net income (loss) attributable to SBA Communications
Net income (loss) per common share attributable to SBA
Weighted average number of common shares
Includes non-cash compensation of $12,281 and $10,261 for the three months ended September 30, 2019 and 2018, and $59,017 and $31,188 for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except par values)
Cash and cash equivalents
Accounts receivable, net
Costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings on uncompleted contracts
Prepaid expenses and other current assets (1)
Total current assets
Property and equipment, net (1)
Intangible assets, net
Right-of-use assets, net (1)
Other assets (1)
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ DEFICIT
Current maturities of long-term debt
Current lease liabilities (1)
Other current liabilities (1)
Total current liabilities
Long-term debt, net
Long-term lease liabilities (1)
Other long-term liabilities (1)
Total long-term liabilities
Redeemable noncontrolling interests
Prefer. stock-par value $.01, 30,000 shares authorized, no shares issued or outst.
Common stock – Class A, par value $.01, 400,000 shares authorized, 112,604
shares and 112,433 shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2019
and December 31, 2018, respectively
Additional paid-in capital
Accumulated other comprehensive loss
Total shareholders’ deficit
Total liabilities, redeemable noncontrolling interests, and shareholders’ deficit
On January 1, 2019, the Company adopted ASU 2016-02 which requires lessees to recognize a right-of-use asset and a lease liability.
Mark DeRussy, CFA
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