(By Balachander) SBA Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: SBAC) shares were upgraded to "Top Pick" from "Outperform" and price target raised to $85.00 from $71.00 by RBC Capital Markets.
The brokerage said tower operators are poised for 2013 acceleration as all four national carriers continue or start to ramp their 4G buildouts.
"Further, as carriers such as Verizon (VZ) near completion of their 4G efforts, we are seeing an increase in new colocation applications driven by capacity requirements," RBC said.
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RBC is of the view that the tower business remains fundamentally decoupled from any macro pressures as wireless 4G is a competitive necessity for the major carriers.
"SBAC uniquely benefits amongst the national tower operators from the lack of a master-lease agreement with AT&T (T), which we believe provides for more upside to 2013 operating and financial performance as AT&T's 4G enhancements will directly drive SBAC site leasing revenue growth, compared to SBAC's national peers, which have contractual escalators with AT&T and have provided rent abatement for ~900 new AT&T collocations in their respective portfolios," RBC wrote.
SBA Communications owns and operates wireless communications towers in North America and Central America, and performs site development services for wireless carriers.
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The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range of $39.38 to $69.63, advanced 0.84 percent to trade at $68.97 on Tuesday.