Crown Castle Implements Operational Changes and Updates Outlook for Full Year 2024

  • Focus on Higher Return Projects Results in Approximately $300 Million Capital Expenditure Reduction and $60 Million Expense Savings
  • Fiber Strategic Review Active and Ongoing

HOUSTON, June 11, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Crown Castle Inc. (NYSE: CCI) ("Crown Castle") today announced plans to enhance operational performance and updated its full year 2024 outlook.

"As we have continued to progress the strategic and operating review of Crown Castle's fiber business, we are implementing changes designed to drive operational efficiencies and to enhance returns in fiber solutions and small cells. These changes are being implemented, regardless of the outcome of the strategic review, which remains active and ongoing," stated Steven Moskowitz, Crown Castle's President and Chief Executive Officer. "With these changes, we are pursuing a more focused sales effort to target on-net and near-net demand and, critically, increasing return thresholds on all new growth opportunities to drive a more efficient use of capital. We believe implementing these changes will lower our capital expenditures on lower-return opportunities in 2024 by $275 million to $325 million while maintaining our expectations for revenue growth across towers, small cells, and fiber solutions over the next several years. Because this reduction in capital expenditures leads to reduced activity, we are also reducing staffing levels and closing certain offices, which we expect will drive approximately $100 million of annualized run-rate operating cost savings, significantly improving our ability to convert incremental revenue into cash flow. We believe this increased focus on cost discipline and capital efficiency will enable us to generate higher returns and reduce our reliance on external capital to fund organic growth opportunities."

In January 2024, Crown Castle initiated a comprehensive strategic and operational review of its Fiber segment. While the strategic review remains underway, with engaged third parties, the Company has concluded its operational review and is implementing changes to its operating plans based on the findings.

As part of the operational review, Crown Castle identified opportunities for significant future enterprise fiber and small cell demand from locations that are on or close to the Company's existing high quality fiber footprint, which consists of 90,000 route miles of high-strand-count fiber in 48 of the top 50 most populated cities in the U.S.

Consequently, Crown Castle believes there is an opportunity in small cells to increase the number of collocation nodes and increase returns on new anchor nodes by focusing on locations nearer to its existing network. With this shift in approach, Crown Castle believes it can reduce the capital intensity of small cell projects by narrowing its investment focus to concentrate on a higher mix of collocations and continue building network-adjacent anchor nodes, while de-emphasizing greenfield locations the Company historically targeted. Crown Castle has already started to make changes to some projects that no longer meet the Company's targeted investment focus and will continue working collaboratively with customers to modify or cancel additional projects that may benefit all parties while positioning the Company to achieve higher incremental returns. The Company expects these operational changes, in combination with other delays in delivering some in-process small cell projects, to result in a reduction of 3,000 to 5,000 new revenue-generating small cell nodes in 2024 and a reduction in new leasing activity of approximately $15 million in the year. Taking these changes into account, Crown Castle continues to believe there is sufficient demand to grow small cell revenues by double digits over the next several years.

Similarly, in its fiber solutions business, Crown Castle believes it can reduce discretionary capital expenditures going forward. Given the magnitude of market opportunities near its existing assets, Crown Castle believes it can improve capital efficiency while achieving annual organic revenue growth of 2% in 2024 as it transitions to the new sales strategy before returning to long-term annual organic revenue growth in fiber solutions of 3% beginning in 2025.

As a result of the modified strategy the Company is placing on small cell and fiber solutions investments going forward, Crown Castle expects to reduce gross capital expenditures in its Fiber segment by $275 million to $325 million in 2024 and is reducing staffing levels by more than 10% from current levels. The staffing reductions, in addition to other operational savings, which will primarily impact the Fiber segment and corporate departments, are expected to generate approximately $100 million in annualized run-rate cost savings, approximately $60 million of which is expected to benefit full year 2024 results.


This Outlook section contains forward-looking statements, and actual results may differ materially. Information regarding potential risks which could cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements herein is set forth below and in Crown Castle's filings with the SEC.

The following table sets forth Crown Castle's current full year 2024 Outlook, which includes the following key changes from the previous outlook issued on April 17:

  • A $30 million decrease to site rental revenues, including a $30 million decrease to non-cash items. Site rental billings remains unchanged as a $25 million decrease to recurring revenues from lower fiber solutions and small cell activity is offset by a $25 million increase in small cell non-recurring revenues primarily related to early termination payments.
  • A $95 million decrease to net income, primarily reflecting approximately $110 million of restructuring charges related to staffing reductions and office closures.
  • A $5 million increase to Adjusted EBITDA as the $30 million reduction to site rental revenues and approximately $25 million of advisory fees primarily related to the recent proxy contest are more than offset by a $60 million decrease in costs generated by staffing reductions and office closures.
  • A $25 million increase to AFFO, which benefits from a $7 million reduction to interest expense driven by a $225 million reduction to 2024 capital expenditures less prepaid rent additions.
(in millions, except per share amounts) Full Year 2024 Outlook(a)(b)   Changes to Midpoint from Previous Outlook(c)
Site rental billings(d) $5,740 to $5,780   $—
Amortization of prepaid rent $392 to $417   ($18)
Straight-lined revenues $162 to $187   ($13)
Site rental revenues $6,317 to $6,362   ($30)
Site rental costs of operations(e) $1,686 to $1,731   $—
Services and other gross margin $65 to $95   $—
Net income (loss) $1,125 to $1,190   ($95)
Net income (loss) per share—diluted $2.59 to $2.74   ($0.21)
Adjusted EBITDA(f) $4,143 to $4,193   $5
Depreciation, amortization and accretion $1,680 to $1,775   $—
Interest expense and amortization of deferred financing costs, net(g) $926 to $971   ($7)
FFO(f) $2,863 to $2,893   ($96)
AFFO(f) $3,005 to $3,055   $25
AFFO per share(f) $6.91 to $7.02   $0.06
Towers Segment discretionary capital expenditures(f) $180 to $180   $—
Fiber Segment discretionary capital expenditures(f) $1,050 to $1,150   ($300)

(a)   As issued on June 11, 2024.
(b)   Net income (loss) outlook, including on a per share basis, includes the benefit of contemplated cost reductions discussed above and potential charges associated with such cost reductions. Such restructuring charges are excluded from AFFO and Adjusted EBITDA.
(c)   As issued on April 17, 2024.
(d)   See "Non-GAAP Measures and Other Information" for our definition of site rental billings.
(e)   Exclusive of depreciation, amortization and accretion.
(f)   See "Non-GAAP Measures and Other Information" for further information and reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to net income (loss), including on a per share basis, and for definition of discretionary capital expenditures.
(g)   See "Non-GAAP Measures and Other Information" for the reconciliation of "Outlook for Components of Interest Expense."

  • The chart below reconciles the components contributing to expected 2024 growth in site rental revenues. Full year consolidated site rental billings growth, excluding the impact of Sprint Cancellations, is expected to be 5%, inclusive of 4.5% from towers, 15% from small cells, and 2% from fiber solutions.

2024 Outlook for Organic Contribution to Site Rental Billings, Change in Site Rental Revenues ($ in millions)

  • In total, core leasing activity is expected to contribute $305 million to $335 million, comprised of $105 million to $115 million from towers (unchanged from the previous Outlook), $65 million to $75 million from small cells (compared to $55 million to $65 million in the previous Outlook) and $135 million to $145 million from fiber solutions (compared to $145 million to $155 million in the previous Outlook).
    • Small cell core leasing is expected to increase by $10 million from the previous outlook, which includes a $15 million decrease from lower activity levels and project delays, more than offset by $25 million of higher-than-expected non-recurring revenues. Excluding the impact of Sprint Cancellations and the increase in non-recurring revenues, small cell organic growth is expected to be 10% in 2024, a reduction from the previous Outlook of 13% growth.
    • Fiber solutions core leasing is expected to decrease by $10 million from the previous outlook in 2024 as Crown Castle transitions its sales strategy, resulting in expected organic growth of approximately 2% in the year, a reduction from the previous Outlook of 3% organic growth.
  • The chart below reconciles the components contributing to the year over year change to 2024 AFFO.

2024 Outlook for Change in AFFO ($ in millions)

  • Reduced staffing levels and office closures, which are associated with lower activity levels, are expected to generate approximately $100 million of run-rate cost savings, $60 million of which is expected to impact full year 2024. These savings are partially offset by $25 million of advisory fees primarily related to the recent proxy contest, resulting in a $35 million decrease to expenses compared to the previous Outlook.
  • Lower capital spend resulting from our revised operating plan is expected to decrease interest expense by approximately $7 million compared to the previous Outlook.
  • The full year 2024 Outlook for discretionary capital expenditures and prepaid rent additions has been updated to reflect lower expected activity in our Fiber segment. Discretionary capital expenditures are expected to be $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion, including approximately $1.1 billion in the Fiber segment and $180 million in the Towers segment, and prepaid rent additions are expected to be approximately $355 million in 2024, including $275 million from Fiber and $80 million from Towers.


Crown Castle owns, operates and leases more than 40,000 cell towers and approximately 90,000 route miles of fiber supporting small cells and fiber solutions across every major U.S. market. This nationwide portfolio of communications infrastructure connects cities and communities to essential data, technology and wireless service - bringing information, ideas and innovations to the people and businesses that need them. For more information on Crown Castle, please visit

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