American Tower (NYSE:AMT) announced its results for the most recent quarter on October 31, 2012. American Tower develops, owns, and operates communications sites throughout the country. Among its holdings are wireless communications towers, broadcast communications towers, and distributed antenna system.

Earnings season is important to investors because it shows how much profit is left in the company's hand after deducting costs from revenue. SEE: Everything Investors Need To Know About Earnings

The Numbers: American Tower's latest numbers were good, as the company announced EPS and revenues that came in ahead predictions. The company reported 58 cents per share versus the 38 cents per share estimate and revenues of $713.3 million versus the $671.4 million estimate. EPS rose from a loss of 4 cents per share in the year-ago quarter while revenue climbed 13.1%. American Tower has averaged revenue growth of 19.2% over the past five quarters. For the third quarter, the company reported profit of $232.1 million.

Management Quote: im Taiclet, American Tower's Chief Executive Officer stated, "During the third quarter, our disciplined investments in portfolio growth and industry-leading operational efficiency once again yielded strong results, with Core Growth in revenue, Adjusted EBITDA and AFFO all over 18%.We expect a strong finish to 2012, given the robust business momentum we are seeing both in the U.S. and our international markets. Looking forward, we are focused on providing our investors with a compelling total return opportunity, supported by solid growth in both AFFO per share and our dividend."

Looking Ahead: The outlook for the company's results in the upcoming quarter is unfavorable. The average estimate for the fourth quarter is 40 cents per share, down from 42 cents 90 days ago. Decreasing earnings estimates is generally a negative sign as it suggests analyst believe future earnings to be weaker than previously anticipated. At $1.47 per share, the average estimate for the fiscal year has fallen from $1.65 90 days ago.

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