Trade Report: The Zacks Investment Research Upgrades American Tower Corp. (AMT) to “Buy”

The Zacks Investment Research Upgrades American Tower Corp. (AMT) to “Buy”

American Tower Corp. (NYSE:AMT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The firm currently has a $126.00 price target on the real estate investment trust’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 11.17% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “American tower will benefit from increased investment of wireless carriers as they push towards deployment of 5G networks. Moreover, American Tower has been focusing on its operations in India which include acquisition of 51% control in Viom Networks and the tower deal with Bharti Airtel’s Tanzania unit. These transactions will increase the tower count as well as help the company build stronger ties with mobile network operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Tata, Reliance and Aircel. Going forward, we believe that American Tower’s buyout of towers in emerging markets should help drive its top line and lend a competitive edge over rivals. However, high customer concentration, foreign currency exchange rate risks, stiff competition, integration risks, rising operating expenses and a highly leveraged balance sheet are near-term risks.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on AMT. SunTrust Banks Inc. started coverage on shares of American Tower Corp. in a research note on Monday, September 12th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $128.00 price target for the company. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of American Tower Corp. in a research note on Saturday, August 6th. Citigroup Inc. upped their price objective on shares of American Tower Corp. from $121.00 to $134.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 11th. BTIG Research upped their price objective on shares of American Tower Corp. to $140.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Argus upped their price objective on shares of American Tower Corp. from $120.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $120.84.

Shares of American Tower Corp. (NYSE:AMT) opened at 113.34 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $111.69 and a 200-day moving average of $110.39. American Tower Corp. has a 12-month low of $83.07 and a 12-month high of $118.26. The firm has a market capitalization of $48.22 billion, a PE ratio of 70.35 and a beta of 0.62.

American Tower Corp. (NYSE:AMT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The real estate investment trust reported $1.33 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.03. American Tower Corp. had a return on equity of 11.73% and a net margin of 15.21%. The company earned $1.44 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.44 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.26 EPS. American Tower Corp.’s quarterly revenue was up 22.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that American Tower Corp. will post $5.70 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 17th. Investors of record on Friday, September 30th were paid a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.94%. This is a positive change from American Tower Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 28th. American Tower Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 136.65%.

In related news, Director Carolyn Katz sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $116.25, for a total transaction of $1,162,500.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 16,584 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,927,890. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman James D. Taiclet, Jr. sold 40,625 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.80, for a total transaction of $4,420,000.00. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 226,517 shares in the company, valued at $24,645,049.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.95% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in AMT. Capital Analysts LLC increased its stake in shares of American Tower Corp. by 158.1% in the second quarter. Capital Analysts LLC now owns 2,395 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $143,000 after buying an additional 1,467 shares during the period. Financial Architects Inc increased its stake in shares of American Tower Corp. by 15.5% in the second quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 1,289 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 173 shares during the period. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC increased its stake in shares of American Tower Corp. by 3.3% in the second quarter. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC now owns 1,474 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $167,000 after buying an additional 47 shares during the period. WFG Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of American Tower Corp. by 1.2% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 1,473 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $167,000 after buying an additional 18 shares during the period. Finally, PineBridge Investments L.P. purchased a new stake in shares of American Tower Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $173,000. 94.15% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About American Tower Corp.

American Tower Corporation is a holding company. The company owns, operates and develops wireless and broadcast communications real estate. Its primary business is leasing antenna space on multi-tenant communications sites to wireless service providers, radio and television broadcast companies, wireless data and data providers, government agencies and municipalities.

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