Alex Pettee, CFA
Cell Tower REITs: Tech Trouble
Tech Trouble? Cell Tower REITs outperformed the REIT Index for the sixth-straight-year in 2020, but have dipped nearly 20% over the last quarter amid the sharp vaccine-driven REIT sector rotation.
5G Is Here. Apple's successful iPhone 12 launch represents the true "arrival" of 5G, the much-anticipated next-generation mobile network will reach its full potential as post-pandemic mobility rates normalize.
All three cell tower REITs boosted their dividends in 2020. Cell Tower REITs have recorded annual dividend growth averaging 26% over the past 5 years, the tops among major REIT sectors.
Cell Tower REITs continue to benefit from highly favorable competitive positioning within the telecommunication sector and, despite the recent sell-off, little has changed over the past quarter to alter that outlook.
The pull-back appears to be a long-awaited buying opportunity. Despite sector-leading growth rates, cell tower REITs - along with many other "essential" REITs in the housing, technology, and logistics sectors - trade near historically low relative valuations to the REIT average.
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