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Jim Ballan

Good morning. Thanks a lot. A few questions that I've got as well. Ben, can you talk for a minute about what this is going to mean for your stock repurchases in the short term and in the long term? As you know, I agree with you bringing your leverage up to 8 or 8 plus times and would love to see you keep it up there. But what are your thoughts on leverage and stock repurchases?

Ben Moreland

Well, let's be clear. If this goes as we hope and expect it will, we're purchasing $550 million worth of stock in this transaction so there's a comparable amount of stock being purchased here in this transaction is what we've accomplished here in part of this year. Our focus remains the same on continuing to want to maintain what we think is a very reasonable level of leverage, but a level that drives optimum shareholder returns.

My view, Jim, as we've talked about before is it's really going to be somewhat dependent upon the long term progress we as an industry make with the rating agencies. We are not about to go back to a level that would cause any of our shareholders any discomfort around the capitalization of this company and cause them to put a risk profile or risk premium back into the stock, so it's a fine line, it's a balance.

We continue to watch very closely lots of other metrics around comparable industries and capitalizations of recurring asset businesses and do believe that this business is a great candidate to continue to support reasonable levels of leverage and our view is we're going to continue to push that point with the rating agencies, but we're going to be a follower of their lead and frankly not a leader there. We don't want to go out and do things that otherwise cause concern among our holders.

At 8 times leverage as you see in this presentation, that's about a 33% debt to enterprise value, 2 times interest coverage or so. That I might add, that's before any benefit of refinancing our term loan and as you saw from the transaction, we're anticipating we have a commitment to increase our term loan by $300 million and draw on the revolver to fund the $550 million. That's certainly a commitment we have which we could avail ourselves of. Perhaps we're successful in the securitization effort that we've talked about in the past as we continue to look at resizing our existing portfolio, our notes that are outstanding as well as putting some of these more recent smaller acquisitions into a pool. We obviously don't count on that, but we continue to work on it.

Again, we will continue to monitor that, we share your view, but we will always do it in a way that we think is very, very prudent.

Jim Ballan

Okay. So I can try and pin you down a little bit. You talked about five to seven in the past. Here you are at 8. Can assume that you're going to take that down a little bit over the next few quarters?


Crown Castle International

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