Crown Castle International Corporation (NYSE:CCI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report released on Friday. The firm presently has a $98.00 price target on the real estate investment trust’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 15.05% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Crown Castle’s extensive tower portfolio, increased demand for infrastructure, healthy leasing activity, continual acquisition of towers and growing demand for mobile broadband are major positives. Wireless services are rapidly gaining ground, courtesy of additional features and capabilities. Buyout of wireless towers also bodes well. The deployment of 5G will drive growth on both the company’s tower and small cell assets as the wireless carriers look to expand and enhance their networks to provide the coverage, capacity and speed needed to support mobile video, the Internet of Things, fixed wireless broadband.However, customer concentration, consolidated wireless industry, expenses related to technological changes and foreign currency exchange rate risks remain potent headwinds. Also, shares of Crown Castle lags the Zacks classified ‘REIT-Equity Trust-Other’ industry’s gain in the past one year.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Macquarie restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $95.00 target price on shares of Crown Castle International Corporation in a research report on Friday, December 23rd. Citigroup Inc. decreased their target price on Crown Castle International Corporation from $109.00 to $100.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, September 16th. Guggenheim began coverage on Crown Castle International Corporation in a research report on Thursday, December 15th. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $106.00 price objective on shares of Crown Castle International Corporation in a research report on Friday, November 4th. Finally, BTIG Research reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $91.50 price objective on shares of Crown Castle International Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, December 21st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Crown Castle International Corporation presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $101.28.

Analyst Recommendations for Crown Castle International Corporation (NYSE:CCI)

Shares of Crown Castle International Corporation (NYSE:CCI) opened at 85.18 on Friday. Crown Castle International Corporation has a one year low of $75.71 and a one year high of $102.82. The stock has a market capitalization of $28.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 87.63 and a beta of 0.31. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $85.68 and a 200 day moving average of $91.79.

Crown Castle International Corporation (NYSE:CCI) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The real estate investment trust reported $1.09 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.09. The firm earned $992 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $968.15 million. Crown Castle International Corporation had a net margin of 9.45% and a return on equity of 4.84%. The business’s revenue was up 8.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.07 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Crown Castle International Corporation will post $0.87 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 16th were paid a $0.95 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, December 14th. This is a boost from Crown Castle International Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.89. This represents a $3.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.46%. Crown Castle International Corporation’s payout ratio is presently 387.76%.

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In other news, SVP Kenneth Jay Simon acquired 1,248 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 14th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $80.19 per share, with a total value of $100,077.12. Following the completion of the purchase, the senior vice president now owns 5,552 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $445,214.88. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Ari Q. Fitzgerald sold 3,395 shares of Crown Castle International Corporation stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $81.35, for a total value of $276,183.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.73% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Capital World Investors boosted its position in Crown Castle International Corporation by 4.6% in the third quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 17,741,230 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,671,401,000 after buying an additional 774,000 shares during the last quarter. Capital International Investors boosted its position in Crown Castle International Corporation by 6.9% in the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 6,852,300 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $645,555,000 after buying an additional 442,100 shares during the last quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Crown Castle International Corporation by 2.7% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 5,261,151 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $533,639,000 after buying an additional 140,166 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in Crown Castle International Corporation by 0.8% in the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 4,700,351 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $442,820,000 after buying an additional 36,107 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cohen & Steers Inc. boosted its position in Crown Castle International Corporation by 25.0% in the second quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 4,114,062 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $417,289,000 after buying an additional 822,423 shares during the last quarter. 89.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Crown Castle International Corporation

Castle International Corp. (CCIC) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) company. The Company owns, operates and leases shared wireless infrastructure, including towers and other structures, such as rooftops (towers), and to a lesser extent, distributed antenna systems (DAS), a type of small cell network (small cells), and interests in land under third party towers in various forms (third party land interests).

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