American Tower Corp.'s (AMT) fourth-quarter earnings more than doubled as the company posted a double-digit increase in rental and management business revenue.
The company also forecast 2012 earnings of $660 million to $680 million on revenue between $2.67 billion and $2.71 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect income of $611 million on $2.8 billion in revenue.
The cell-tower operator, with sites in the U.S., Latin America, India and South Africa, has seen its revenue grow in recent quarters, helped by strong demand for broadband-data services in the U.S. and its ongoing global expansion. American Tower converted to a real estate investment trust in late December and has hinted it would introduce a quarterly dividend in early 2012.
American Tower reported a profit of $201.3 million, or 51 cents a share, up from $83.5 million, or 21 cents, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 19% to $653.2 million.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of 30 cents on revenue of $652 million.
Operating margin edged up to 37.9% from 37.1%.
Revenue jumped 20% for the rental and management business, which makes up a bulk of the top line, while network-development services revenue grew 8.1%.
Shares closed Wednesday at $63.26 and were inactive premarket. The stock has risen 5.4% so far this year.
-By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283; firstname.lastname@example.org