SBA Communications Beats Estimates

The operator of wireless towers swung to a profit in the fourth quarter on increased revenues.
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SBA Communications

(SBAC) - Get Report

, an operator of wireless towers, reported on February 26, 2009 that it swung to a Q4 FY08 profit from a year-ago loss, helped by a one-time gain as well as an increase in revenues. Net income stood at $2.68 million or $0.02 per share compared with a loss of $28.88 million or $0.27 per share in Q4 FY07. The most recent consensus estimate was a loss of $0.11 per share.

During the latest fourth quarter, SBAC's revenue grew 23.4% to $134.43 million from $108.90 million a year ago. Revenue from the Site Leasing segment increased 32.1% to $111.92 million from $84.72 million, driven by an increase in the number of towers acquired and constructed. However, revenue from the Site Development segment dropped 6.9% to $22.51 million from $24.19 million, hurt by substantial slowdown in the activity of one of the company's single services customers. Meanwhile, total operating expenses climbed 23.9% to $122.90 million from $99.20 million a year ago.

During the quarter under review, SBA Communications purchased 350 towers, 5 managed sites, and 5 distributed antenna system (DAS) networks and built 25 towers. The company purchased land and easements and extended lease terms for land underlying its towers for an amount of $7.90 million and acquired 2 more towers.

For FY08, the company's net loss narrowed to $46.76 million or $0.43 per share from $77.88 million or $0.74 per share in FY07. Annual revenue increased 16.4% to $474.95 million from $408.20 million a year ago.

Looking forward to Q1 FY09, SBAC expects total revenues in the range of $132.00 million to $136 .00 million. For 2009, the company raised revenue guidance of $535.00 million to $575.00 million from its prior view of $533.00 million to $573.00 million.