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Equinix Exceeds Estimates on Cloud, Networking Growth

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Equinix's (EQIX) fourth-quarter results beat analysts' expectations, as the data-center company continues its plan to transition into a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the next few years.

Equinix earned 92 cents per share on $506.5 million in revenue for the quarter ending Dec. 31. Discontinued operations accounted for earnings per share of 24 cents. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting 62 cents and $505.33 million in revenue.

In an interview with TheStreet, CEO Steve Smith noted Equinix had "really balanced strength around the world," with Europe, Asia and America all performing well. Cloud and networking, two of Equinix's verticals, saw the fastest growth, accounting for 23% of bookings in the quarter, as Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks and Ethernet continues to get pushed around the world. "We had another rock-solid year."

Smith noted that content digital media accounted for 21% of bookings in the quarter, and that includes companies like Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG), Zynga (FB) and Facebook (FB).

TheStreet recommended Equinix last year as one of the companies to invest in after Facebook's IPO.

Shares of Equinix soared last year after the company announced plans to convert into a real estate investment trust, and Smith said Equinix is still aiming for a Jan. 1, 2015, conversion date. Smith noted Equinix has submitted the private ruling to the IRS at end of 2012, and with the operational complexities of turning into a REIT, Equinix pushed the date out to 2015 as opposed to 2014.

EQIX ChartEQIX data by YCharts

For the first quarter of 2013, Equinix said it expects revenue to be between $518 million and $522 million, with gross margins between 68% and $69%. Adjusted EBITDA, a key financial metric, is expected to be between $236 million and $240 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are looking for $524.5 million in revenue for the first quarter.

Equinix also provided full-year revenue guidance, saying it expects sales to be greater $2.2 billion, with gross margins between 68% and 69%. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be greater than $1.01 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are looking for $2.22 billion in revenue for the full year.

Shares of Equinix closed the regular session lower, losing 0.7% to finish at $213.02. The stock is moving higher in extended-hours trading, gaining 2.3%, according to Nasdaq.com.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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