4-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: American Tower

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Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, wireless communication tower operator American Tower (NYS: AMT) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at American Tower's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

American Tower facts

Headquarters (Founded)Boston (1995)
Market Cap$20.86 billion
IndustryWireless telecom services
Trailing-12-Month Revenue$2.1 billion
ManagementChairman/CEO James Taiclet, Jr.
CFO Thomas Bartlett
Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)9.2%
Cash/Debt$373.5 million / $5.6 billion
CompetitorsCrown Castle International (NYS: CCI)
SBA Communications (NAS: SBAC)

Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 91% of the 766 members who have rated American Tower believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include Clint35 and AcheronRecords.

Earlier this week, Clint35 touched on American Tower's plans to convert into a REIT: "I wanna get in on the upcoming dividends. This one still has a lot of room to grow as well, especially in emerging markets."

American Tower even boasts a rather robust three-year average operating margin of 40%. That's much higher than those of main rivals Crown Castle (29%) and SBA (12.4%).

CAPS member AcheronRecords elaborates on the American Tower bull case:

Moving to REIT status by January 2012 to get the tax benefits and to start distributing income to shareholders. Long term wireless towers are going to be needed more and more to support all the smartphone and tablets coming to market. They also are making inroads in developing countries. It seems pricey now, but I think that the earnings potential are worth it and payouts to shareholders will make it worth the wait.

What do you think about American Tower, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional stocks is a surefire way to secure your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to find them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!  

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of American Tower. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.

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