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  • Alex Pettee, CFA

Cell Tower REITs: All-In On 5G

  • Cell Tower REITs - the single-largest REIT sector - are again pulling their weight after uncharacteristically lagging earlier this year, catalyzed by strong first quarter earnings and major M&A developments.

  • Time To Focus: AT&T and Verizon ended their tumultuous foray into the media business this year, divesting their capital-draining ancillary businesses as competition has heated-up with T-Mobile and Dish Network.

  • Wireless network spending is poised to accelerate as the 5G rollout advances. All three Cell Tower REITs boosted their full-year guidance during earnings season and now expect double-digit FFO growth.

  • Cell Tower REITs remain in growth-mode, utilizing a sector-leading cost of capital and favorable competitive positioning. American Tower acquired $15B in additional assets in early 2021 through two major deals.

  • While no longer cheap, Cell Tower REITs should remain a growth engine of the real estate sector and risks to technological disruption remain distant, particularly as carriers go "all-in" on 5G network build-outs.

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Disclosure: A complete list of holdings and Real Estate and Housing Index definitions and holdings are available at Hoya Capital Real Estate advises an Exchange Traded Fund listed on the NYSE. Hoya Capital is long all components in the Hoya Capital Housing 100 Index.

Additional Disclosure: It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Index performance cited in this commentary does not reflect the performance of any fund or other account managed or serviced by Hoya Capital Real Estate. Data quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy.

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