HOUSTON, April 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE:CCI) ("Crown Castle") today reported results for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. "We had an excellent first quarter, positioning us to raise our Outlook for 2014," stated Ben Moreland, Crown Castle's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We continue to see strong leasing activity from all four major wireless carriers as they continue to upgrade their networks for LTE and capacity enhancements. We expect the level of activity from the first quarter to continue through the remainder of the year, as reflected by our increased Outlook for 2014. Also, during the first quarter, we achieved a significant milestone, as we began operating as a REIT and paid our first-ever common stock dividend. With nearly 40,000 towers and 12,000 small cell nodes, I am pleased with our leadership position in the US. Further, our portfolio, combined with our proven track record of execution and disciplined capital allocation, positions us well to continue to meet the needs of wireless carriers, grow our dividend over time and deliver significant long-term total shareholder returns." CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL RESULTS Total revenue for the first quarter of 2014 increased 18% to $876 million from $740 million for the same period in 2013. Site rental revenue for the first quarter of 2014 increased $132 million, or 21%, to $747 million from $615 million for the same period in the prior year. Site rental gross margin, defined as site rental revenue less site rental cost of operations, increased $81 million, or 19%, to $519 million in the first quarter of 2014 from $438 million in the same period in 2013. Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2014 increased $86 million , or 20%,to $527 million from $441 million in the same period in 2013. Adjusted Funds from Operations ("AFFO") increased 33% to $349 million in the first quarter of 2014, compared to $263 million in the first quarter of 2013. AFFO per share increased 17% to $1.05 in the first quarter of 2014, compared to $0.90 in the first quarter of 2013. Funds from Operations ("FFO") increased 68% to $338 million in the first quarter of 2014, compared to $201 million in the first quarter of 2013. FFO per share increased 46% to $1.01 in the first quarter of 2014, compared to $0.69 in the first quarter of 2013. During the first quarter of 2014, Crown Castle updated its definitions of FFO and AFFO. Under its current and previous definitions, Crown Castle's first quarter 2014 results for FFO and AFFO exceeded its first quarter 2014 Outlook provided on January 22, 2014. See below for a discussion regarding the updated definitions and the reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures.