How Crown Castle Rewards Shareholders
Crown Castle’s dividend policy
In 4Q17, Crown Castle (CCI) announced a dividend of $0.95 per share, bringing its 2017 dividend to $3.89, compared with $3.60 in 2016. It paid a dividend of $3.34 in 2015. Its dividend yield is currently 3.8%, and its three-year dividend growth rate is 27.8%.
The company achieved its long-term annual dividend growth target of 8% in 2017. With high leasing activity and growing demand for data, the company is confident that it will be able to deliver a dividend growth rate of 7%–8% in the years ahead.
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Crown Castle has a dividend history of only three years—it started paying dividends in 2014. Its dividends increased from a quarterly payment of $0.35 in 2014 to $0.95 in 2017, which includes a boost of 7.3% in 2016.
In 2017, Crown Castle paid $1.5 billion in dividends, making its payout ratio 386.1%. American Tower (AMT), CenturyLink (CTL), and Verizon Communications (VZ) have ratios of 109.6%, 186.2%, and 31.7%, respectively.
Whereas the S&P 500 (SPX) has gained 11.6% in the last year, Crown Castle has gained 26.5%, mainly due to positive fundamentals and strong growth. Crown Castle has a gained 9.2% in the last six months and 6.4% in the last three months, and peers American Tower, CenturyLink, and SBA Communications (SBAC) have returned 4.3%, -22.6%, and -22.6% over the last six months, respectively, and 3.8%, 3.2%, and 8.1% over the last three months. Together, American Tower and Crown Castle make up 14% of the PowerShares Active US Real Estate ETF (PSR).