American Tower (NYSE:AMT) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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American Tower (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 Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage presently has a $237.00 price objective on the real estate investment trust’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 4.52% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “American Tower posted better-than-expected results in the second quarter of 2019. The property segment’s top-line growth and U.S. organic tenant billings buoyed results. A rise in use of mobile data and higher investments in 4G as well as 5G technology is fueling demand for space in the company’s telecom towers. This is anticipated to help American Tower witness splendid leasing activity and organic tenant billings growth in the upcoming period. Also, the company is strengthening its macro-tower portfolio and focusing on innovation to capture the underlying opportunities. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry, over the past three months. However, it has a substantially leveraged balance sheet. Further, the accelerated Indian carrier consolidation-driven churn and high customer concentration are headwinds.”

AMT has been the subject of several other reports. KeyCorp increased their target price on shares of American Tower from $225.00 to $253.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of American Tower from $185.00 to $201.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, May 20th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their target price on shares of American Tower from $200.00 to $220.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. UBS Group lowered shares of American Tower from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their target price for the company from $195.00 to $222.00 in a research note on Friday, June 7th. Finally, SunTrust Banks increased their target price on shares of American Tower to $230.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $199.94.

AMT stock traded up $1.56 on Tuesday, hitting $226.75. 360,698 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,733,641. American Tower has a 1-year low of $140.40 and a 1-year high of $225.69. The stock has a market cap of $98.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.38, a P/E/G ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 0.50. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $212.28 and a 200-day moving average of $198.10. The company has a current ratio of 0.49, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.13.

American Tower (NYSE:AMT) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The real estate investment trust reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.87 by ($0.91). American Tower had a net margin of 19.30% and a return on equity of 24.75%. The business had revenue of $1.89 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.83 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.74 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that American Tower will post 7.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other American Tower news, EVP Olivier Puech sold 8,347 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $210.27, for a total value of $1,755,123.69. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO James D. Taiclet, Jr. sold 57,438 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $201.40, for a total transaction of $11,568,013.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 255,414 shares in the company, valued at approximately $51,440,379.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 191,020 shares of company stock worth $39,584,998. Company insiders own 0.75% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of American Tower by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 57,494,934 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $11,754,838,000 after purchasing an additional 248,968 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of American Tower by 4.0% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 31,549,686 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $6,450,332,000 after purchasing an additional 1,213,664 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of American Tower by 13.3% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 22,818,504 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $4,496,615,000 after purchasing an additional 2,673,794 shares during the last quarter. Akre Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of American Tower by 1.7% during the 1st quarter. Akre Capital Management LLC now owns 7,186,828 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,416,236,000 after purchasing an additional 119,400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in shares of American Tower by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 6,772,952 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $1,384,730,000 after purchasing an additional 96,999 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.22% of the company’s stock.

About American Tower

American Tower, one of the largest global REITs, is a leading independent owner, operator and developer of multitenant communications real estate with a portfolio of approximately 171,000 communications sites.

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