10-K 1 d10k.htm FORM 10-K FORM 10-K
Table of Contents

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 


 

FORM 10-K

 

 

FOR ANNUAL AND TRANSITION REPORTS

PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

(Mark One)

x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2003

 

OR

 

¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the transition period from              to             

 

Commission File No. 001-14195

 


 

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 


 

Delaware   65-0723837

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

116 Huntington Avenue

Boston, Massachusetts 02116

(Address of principal executive offices and Zip Code)

 

(617) 375-7500

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

(Title of each Class)


 

(Name of exchange on which registered)


Class A Common Stock, $0.01 par value   New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

(Title of Class)

None

 


 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  ¨

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of the Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.    x

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an accelerated filer (as defined in Exchange Act Rule 12b-2).

Yes   x     No  ¨

 

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2003 was approximately $1,671,008,644, based on the closing price of the registrant’s Class A Common Stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second quarter.

 

As of March 5, 2004, 220,396,852 shares of Class A Common Stock were outstanding.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the definitive proxy statement (the “Definitive Proxy Statement”) to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission relative to the Company’s 2004 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report.

 



Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

FORM 10-K ANNUAL REPORT FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2003

 

          Page

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

   1

PART I

         

ITEM 1.

  

Business

   2
    

Overview

   2
    

Strategy

   3
    

Products and Services

   4
    

Recent Transactions

   7
    

Management Organization

   8
    

Regulatory Matters

   8
    

Competition

   10
    

Construction, Manufacturing and Raw Materials

   11
    

Employees

   11
    

Available Information

   11
    

Factors That May Affect Future Results

   12

ITEM 2.

  

Properties

   17

ITEM 3.

  

Legal Proceedings

   17

ITEM 4.

  

Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

   17

PART II

    

ITEM 5.

  

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters

   18

ITEM 6.

  

Selected Financial Data

   19

ITEM 7.

  

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

   22
    

Executive Overview

   22
    

Results of Operations

   23
    

            Years Ended December 31, 2003 and 2002

   23
                 Years Ended December 31, 2002 and 2001    28
    

Liquidity and Capital Resources

   33
    

            Overview

   33
    

            Uses of Cash

   33
    

            Sources of Cash

   35
    

            Factors Affecting Sources of Liquidity

   36
    

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

   38
    

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

   41
    

Information Presented Pursuant to the Indenture of Our 9 3/8% Senior Notes

   41
    

Information Presented Pursuant to the Indentures of Our 9 3/8% Senior Notes, ATI 12.25% Notes and ATI 7.25% Notes

   42

 

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          Page

ITEM 7A.

  

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

   43

ITEM 8.

  

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

   45

ITEM 9.

  

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

   45

ITEM 9A.

   Controls and Procedures    45

PART III

         

ITEM 10.

  

Directors and Executive Officers of the Registrant

   46

ITEM 11.

  

Executive Compensation

   47

ITEM 12.

  

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

   47

ITEM 13.

  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions

   47

ITEM 14.

  

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

   47

PART IV

         

ITEM 15.

  

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules, and Reports on Form 8-K

   48

Signatures

   49

Index to Consolidated Financial Statements

   F-1

Index to Exhibits

   1

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This annual report contains statements about future events and expectations, or forward-looking statements, all of which are inherently uncertain. We have based those forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future results. When we use words in this document such as “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” or similar expressions, we do so to identify forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include statements we make regarding future prospects of growth in the wireless communications and broadcast infrastructure markets, the level of future expenditures by companies in those markets and other trends in those markets, our ability to maintain or increase our market share, our future operating results, our future capital expenditure levels, and our plans to fund our future liquidity needs. These forward-looking statements may be found under the headings “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business,” as well as in this annual report generally.

 

You should keep in mind that any forward-looking statement made by us in this annual report or elsewhere speaks only as of the date on which we make it. New risks and uncertainties come up from time to time, and it is impossible for us to predict these events or how they may affect us. In any event, these and other important factors may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by our forward-looking statements, including those set forth under the caption “Business—Factors That May Affect Future Results.” We have no duty to, and do not intend to, update or revise the forward-looking statements in this annual report after the date of this annual report, except as may be required by law. In light of these risks and uncertainties, you should keep in mind that the future events or circumstances described in any forward-looking statement made in this annual report or elsewhere might not occur.

 

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PART I

 

ITEM 1.    BUSINESS

 

Overview

 

We are a leading wireless and broadcast communications infrastructure company with a portfolio of approximately 15,000 towers. Our primary business is leasing antenna space on multi-tenant communications towers to wireless service providers and radio and television broadcast companies. We operate the largest independent portfolio of wireless communications and broadcast towers in North America, based on number of towers and revenue.

 

Our tower portfolio provides us with a recurring base of leasing revenues from our existing customers and growth potential due to the capacity to add more tenants and equipment to these towers. Our broad network of towers enables us to address the needs of wireless service providers on a national basis. We also offer select tower related services, such as antennae and line installation and site acquisition and zoning services, which are strategic to our core leasing business. We intend to capitalize on the continuing increase in the use of wireless communication services by actively marketing space available for leasing on our existing towers and selectively developing or acquiring new towers that meet our return on investment criteria.

 

Our core leasing business, which we refer to as our rental and management segment, accounted for approximately 98.4% and 96.6% of our segment operating profit for the years ended December 31, 2003 and December 31, 2002, respectively. In 2004, we expect that our rental and management segment will contribute approximately 98% of our segment operating profit, which we define as segment revenue less direct segment expense (rental and management segment operating profit includes interest income, TV Azteca, net – see note 16 to the consolidated financial statements).

 

An element of our strategy is to continue to focus our operations on our rental and management segment by divesting non-core assets and businesses, using the proceeds to purchase high quality tower assets, and reducing outstanding indebtedness. Between January 1, 2003 and March 5, 2004, we completed approximately $123.9 million of non-core asset sales and have or will use the net proceeds to acquire new tower assets and to repay outstanding indebtedness. We expect that we will generate approximately $10.0 million of additional net proceeds in 2004 from the sale of other non-core assets, and intend to reinvest these proceeds in tower assets.

 

The sales proceeds described above include proceeds from the disposition of our remaining non-core services businesses, including Flash Technologies, Galaxy Engineering and Kline Iron & Steel Co., Inc. (Kline). With the divestiture of Kline in March 2004, we have completed the transformation of our business to a focused tower leasing business with only limited services activities that directly support our core rental and management operations and the addition of new tenants on our towers.

 

We believe that our strategy of focusing operations on our rental and management segment will make our consolidated operating cash flows more stable, provide us with continuing growth, and enhance our returns on invested capital because of the following characteristics of our core leasing business:

 

  Long-term tenant leases with contractual escalators. In general, a lease with a wireless carrier has a duration of five to ten years and lease payments typically increase 3% to 5% per year.

 

  Tower operating expenses are largely fixed. Incremental operating costs associated with adding wireless tenants to a tower are low.

 

  Low maintenance capital expenditures. On average, a wireless tower requires minimal annual capital investments to maintain.

 

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  High lease renewal rates. Wireless carriers tend to renew leases because repositioning a site in a carrier’s network is expensive and often affects several other sites in the wireless network.

 

Strategy

 

Our strategy is to capitalize on the continued increase in the use of wireless communication services and the infrastructure requirements necessary to deploy current and future generations of wireless communication technologies. Between December 2001 and June 2003, the number of wireless phone subscribers in the United States increased from 128.4 million to 148.1 million, representing an increase of approximately 15% and market penetration of approximately 51% at June 30, 2003. From December 2001 through June 2003, the number of cell sites (i.e., the number of antennae and related equipment in commercial operation, not the number of towers on which that equipment is located) also increased from 127,500 to 147,700. With respect to Mexico, the number of wireless phone subscribers increased from approximately 21.5 million at the end of 2001, to approximately 30.4 million at the end of 2003, representing an increase of approximately 41% and market penetration of approximately 30% at December 31, 2003. We expect that the continued growth of subscribers for wireless personal communications and phone services will require wireless carriers to add a significant number of additional cell sites to maintain the performance of their networks in the areas they currently cover and to extend service to areas where coverage does not yet exist. In addition, we believe that as data wireless services, such as email, internet access and video, are deployed on a widespread basis, the deployment of these technologies will require wireless carriers to further increase the cell density of their existing networks, may require an overlay of new technology equipment, and may increase the demand for geographic expansion of their network coverage. To meet this demand, we believe wireless carriers will continue to outsource their tower infrastructure needs as a means of improving existing service coverage, implementing new technology, accelerating access to their markets and preserving capital, rather than constructing and operating their own towers and maintaining their own tower service and development capabilities.

 

We believe that our existing portfolio of towers, our tower related services and network development capabilities and our management team position us to benefit from these communication trends and to play an increasing role in addressing the needs of wireless service providers and broadcasters. The key elements of our strategy include:

 

  Maximize Use of Our Tower Capacity. We believe that our highest returns will be achieved by leasing additional space on our existing towers. Annual rental and management revenue and segment operating profit growth during 2003 was approximately 14% and 24%, respectively. We anticipate that our revenues and segment operating profit will continue to grow because many of our towers are attractively located for wireless service providers and have capacity available for additional antenna space rental that we can offer to customers at low incremental costs to us. Because the costs of operating a tower are largely fixed, increasing utilization significantly improves operating margins. We will continue to target our sales and marketing activities to increase utilization of, and investment return on, our existing towers.

 

  Actively Manage Our Tower Portfolio. We are actively managing our portfolio of towers by selling non-core towers and reinvesting a portion of the proceeds in high quality tower assets. In 2003, we sold over 300 non-core towers and redeployed a portion of the proceeds from these sales to the acquisition of 525 towers from NII Holdings in Mexico and Brazil. We also plan to pursue exchanges and sales of towers or tower clusters with tower operators and other entities. Our goal is to enhance operating efficiencies either by acquiring towers in regions where we have insufficient coverage or by disposing or exchanging towers in areas where we do not have operating economies of scale. If we are successful in disposing of certain tower assets, we may reinvest a portion of the proceeds received in tower assets that are expected to provide a greater return.

 

 

Employ Selective Criteria for New Tower Construction and Acquisitions. While our first priority is leasing capacity on our existing towers, we continue to construct and acquire new towers when our strict initial and long-term return on investment criteria can be met. These criteria include securing leases from customers in advance of construction, ensuring reasonable estimated construction costs and

 

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obtaining the land on which to build the tower, whether by purchase or ground lease, on reasonable terms.

 

  Continue Our Focus on Customer Service and Processes. Because speed to market and reliable network performance are critical components to the success of wireless service providers, our ability to assist our customers in meeting their goals will ultimately define our success. To that end, we intend to continue to focus on customer service by, for example, reducing cycle time for key functions, such as lease processing and antennae and line installations. Accordingly, we have established a team dedicated to exploring and leveraging customer-driven process improvement capabilities. This establishes another connection point with our customers, sharing operational processes and outcomes, and provides us valuable input and relationship enhancing opportunities. We believe that this effort should enable us to improve revenue generation through improved speed, accuracy and quality.

 

  Build On Our Strong Relationships with Major Wireless Carriers. Our understanding of the network needs of our wireless carrier customers and our ability to convey effectively how we can satisfy those needs are key to our efforts to add new antennae leases, cross-sell our services and identify desirable new tower development projects. We are building on our strong relationships with our customers to gain more familiarity with their evolving network plans so we can identify opportunities where our nationwide portfolio of towers, extensive service offerings and experienced construction personnel can be used to satisfy their needs. We believe that we are well positioned to be a preferred partner to major wireless carriers in leasing tower space and new tower development projects because of the location of our towers, our proven operating and construction experience and the national scope of our tower portfolio and services.

 

  Participation in Industry Consolidation. We believe there are benefits to consolidation among tower companies. More extensive networks will be better positioned to provide more comprehensive service to customers and to support the infrastructure requirements of future generations of wireless communication technologies. Combining with one or more other tower companies also should result in improvements in cost structure efficiencies, with a corresponding positive impact on operating results. These benefits should, in turn, enhance access to capital and accelerate the de-levering process. Accordingly, we continue to be interested in participating in the consolidation of our industry on terms that are consistent with these perceived benefits and that create long-term value for our stockholders.

 

Products and Services

 

We operate in two business segments: rental and management and network development services. For more information about our business segments, as well as financial information about the geographic areas in which we operate, see note 16 to our consolidated financial statements included in this annual report and the section entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” below.

 

Our primary business is our leasing business, which we refer to as our rental and management segment, and which accounted for approximately 98.4% of our segment operating profit for the year ended December 31, 2003. We also offer tower related services through our network development services segment that are strategic to our rental and management segment.

 

Prior to December 2002, we also operated a satellite and fiber network access services segment through our Verestar, Inc., subsidiary (Verestar). In December 2002, we committed to a plan to dispose of this business, and in December 2003, Verestar and its affiliates filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws. Accordingly, we have accounted for Verestar as a discontinued operation through the date of the bankruptcy filing and we ceased to consolidate Verestar’s financial results as of that date. See “– Factors That May Affect Future Results – The bankruptcy proceeding of our Verestar subsidiary exposes us to risks and uncertainties.”

 

 

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Rental and Management

 

Leasing of Antennae Sites. Our primary business is leasing antenna space on multi-tenant communications towers to wireless service providers and radio and television broadcast companies. We operate a tower network of approximately 15,000 multi-user sites in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, including more than 300 broadcast tower sites. Our networks in the United States and Mexico are national in scope. Our U.S. network spans 49 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, 85% of our U.S. network provides coverage in the top 100 markets or core areas such as high traffic interstate corridors. Giving effect to pending transactions, our Mexican network includes more than 1,800 sites in highly populated areas, including Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara and Acapulco. Our Brazilian network consists of approximately 425 towers, which are primarily located in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba.

 

We lease antenna space on our towers to tenants in a diverse range of wireless communications and broadcast industries. Wireless industries we serve primarily include: personal communications services, cellular, enhanced specialized mobile radio, paging and fixed microwave. Our major domestic customers include ALLTEL, AT&T Wireless Services, Cingular Wireless, Nextel, Sprint PCS, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, and their respective affiliates. Our major international customers include Iusacell Celular, Nextel Mexico, Telefonica Moviles and Unefon in Mexico, and Nextel Brazil, Telecom Americas and Telecom Italia Mobile in Brazil. Our largest customer is Verizon Wireless, which represented approximately 12% of our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2003. No other customer accounted for greater than 10% of our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2003. Approximately 62% of our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2003 were derived from eight customers. See “–Factors That May Affect Future Results – A substantial portion of our revenues is derived from a small number of customers” and “Due to the long-term expectations of revenue from tenant leases, the tower industry is sensitive to the credit worthiness of its tenants.”

 

The number of antennae that our towers can accommodate varies depending on the tower’s location, height, and the structural capacity at certain wind speeds. An antenna’s height on a tower and the tower’s location determine the line-of-sight of the antenna with the horizon and, consequently, the distance a signal can be transmitted. Some of our customers, such as personal communications services, enhanced specialized mobile radio providers and cellular companies in metropolitan areas, typically do not place their equipment at the highest tower point. Other customers, including paging companies and specialized mobile radio providers in rural areas, prefer higher elevations for broader coverage. We believe that a significant majority of our towers have the capacity to add additional tenants.

 

Lease Terms. Our leases, like most of those in the tower industry, generally vary depending upon the region and the industry user. Initial terms for television and radio broadcast leases typically range between fifteen and twenty years, while leases for wireless communications providers generally have initial terms of five to ten years. In both cases, the leases often have multiple renewal terms at the option of the tenant. Both wireless carriers and broadcasters generally renew their leases with us. Repositioning an antenna in a wireless carrier’s network is expensive and often requires reconfiguring several other antennae in the carrier’s network and may require the carrier to obtain other governmental permits.

 

Most of our leases have provisions that periodically increase the rent due under the lease. These automatic increases are typically annual and are based on a fixed percentage, inflation or a fixed percentage plus inflation.

 

Annual rental payments vary considerably depending upon:

 

  the location of the tower;

 

  number and weight of the antennae on the tower and the size of the transmission line;

 

  ground space necessary to store equipment related to the antennae;

 

 

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  existing capacity of the tower;

 

  the placement of the customer’s antenna on the tower; and

 

  range or number of carrier’s frequency spectrum.

 

 

Tower Development. Historically, cellular and other wireless service providers had constructed and owned a majority of the towers for their own antennae needs, rather than leasing space on towers from a third party. Beginning in the late 1990s, wireless service providers expressed a growing interest in having independent companies own and operate the towers for their antennae, due to the relatively high capital costs and operating expenses for a single carrier’s use. This trend resulted in our entering into agreements with a number of wireless carriers to construct and subsequently lease space on towers in key areas identified as optimal for their network expansion requirements. In most cases, because we own the constructed towers, we are able to lease space on them to other tenants, as well as to the original tenant.

 

Network Development Services

 

We provide the following tower-related services that are strategic to our rental and management segment.

 

Antennae and Line Installation and Construction Services. We are one of the leading providers of construction services for wireless communication and broadcast towers. We provide construction services for our own account and for sites owned by third parties. As part of our network development services, we provide antennae and line installation and maintenance services for wireless communication towers and broadcast towers. These services use not only our construction-related skills, but also our technical expertise to ensure that new installations do not cause interference with other tenants. We believe that our antennae and line installation services and maintenance capabilities provide us with a significant opportunity to capture incremental revenue on existing and newly built sites.

 

Site Acquisition and Zoning Services. We engage in site acquisition services for our own account, in connection with tower development projects and other proprietary construction, as well as for third parties. We typically work with our customers’ network design engineers to determine the geographic areas where the applicable customer needs a tower site to address its coverage objectives. Once a site is identified, we acquire the rights to the land or structure on which the site will be constructed, and manage the permitting process to ensure all necessary approvals are obtained to construct and operate the communications site under applicable law.

 

Other Services and Infrastructure. At the beginning of 2003, part of our network development services segment included network engineering services through our Galaxy Engineering division and steel fabrication and tall tower design and construction services through our Kline subsidiary. In August 2003, we sold our Galaxy Engineering division and in June 2003 we committed to a plan to sell Kline, which was sold in March 2004. Accordingly, the results of operations of these businesses are accounted for as discontinued operations and are not included in our network development services segment.

 

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Recent Transactions

 

Acquisitions

 

NII Holdings, Inc. In December 2002, we agreed to acquire over 500 communications sites from NII Holdings (NII), predominantly in Mexico, for an aggregate purchase price of $100.0 million in cash. As of December 31, 2003, we had satisfied our minimum purchase obligation under the agreement and had acquired an aggregate of 665 towers in Mexico and Brazil from NII for a total purchase price of $112.4 million. We have the option to purchase additional tower sites from NII in Mexico and Brazil through 2007, and currently plan to acquire an additional 24 sites in Mexico in the second quarter of 2004 for approximately $4.4 million. We expect to fund any additional closings using funds from operations and proceeds from asset dispositions.

 

Iusacell Celular. In December 2003, we agreed to acquire up to 143 communications sites from Iusacell Celular in Mexico for up to $31.4 million. We acquired 34 of these towers in December for approximately $8.5 million, and as of March 5, 2004, we had acquired an additional 36 towers for approximately $7.6 million. We expect to acquire the remaining towers by the end of the third quarter of 2004. We expect to fund any additional closings out of funds from operations and proceeds from asset dispositions.

 

Dispositions

 

From January 1, 2003 through March 5, 2004, we completed approximately $123.9 million of non-core asset sales. Significant dispositions included the following:

 

Non-Core Towers. We sold over 300 non-core tower assets, previously included in our rental and management segment, for approximately $37.0 million. These dispositions are part of our program to actively manage our portfolio of tower assets by selling non-core towers and reinvesting a portion of the total proceeds in high quality tower assets.

 

Flash Technologies. In January 2003, we sold Flash Technologies, our lighting systems business, previously included in our network development services segment, for net cash proceeds of approximately $35.5 million.

 

MTN. In February 2003, Verestar sold its subsidiary, Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN), for approximately $25.5 million in cash. The net proceeds from the sale were used by Verestar to repay loans as required under the credit facilities.

 

Office Buildings. In March 2003, we sold an office building for approximately $10.3 million. In May 2003, we sold an office building for approximately $18.5 million, including $2.4 million in cash proceeds and the buyer’s assumption of $16.1 million of related mortgage notes. These buildings were held primarily as rental property in our rental and management segment.

 

Galaxy Engineering. In August 2003, we sold Galaxy Engineering, a radio frequency engineering, network design and tower-related consulting business previously included in our network development services segment. We received approximately $2.0 million in cash at closing and will receive an additional $1.5 million payable on or before January 15, 2008.

 

Kline Iron & Steel. In March 2004, we sold substantially all the net assets of Kline for approximately $4.0 million in cash, subject to a post closing working capital adjustment, and we may receive up to an additional $2.0 million in cash payable in 2006 based on the revenues generated by Kline in 2005. Kline was previously included in our network development services segment. We expect to sell the remaining assets of Kline, which primarily include an office building, manufacturing facility and related real estate, by June 30, 2004.

 

ATC Mexico Holding Corp.

 

In January 2004, J. Michael Gearon, Jr., one of our executive officers, exercised his previously disclosed right to require us to purchase his 8.7% interest in ATC Mexico Holding Corp. (ATC Mexico). We currently own an 88% interest in ATC Mexico, which is the subsidiary through which we conduct our Mexico operations. The

 

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purchase price for Mr. Gearon’s interest in ATC Mexico is subject to review by an independent financial advisor, and is payable in cash or shares of our Class A common stock, at our option. We intend to pay the purchase price in shares of our Class A common stock, and the closing is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2004. In addition, we expect that payment of a portion of the purchase price will be contingent upon ATC Mexico meeting certain performance criteria.

 

The remaining 3.3% interest in ATC Mexico was reserved for issuance upon exercise of options granted to certain employees under the ATC Mexico Holding Stock Option Plan. These options became exercisable upon the exercise of Mr. Gearon’s put right, and were exercised in January 2004. The employees holding these shares also may require us to purchase their interest in ATC Mexico six months following their issuance, which date will occur in July 2004. William H. Hess, one of our executive officers, owns a 1.4% interest in ATC Mexico as a result of his exercise of options granted to him under the ATC Mexico Holding Stock Option Plan.

 

Management Organization

 

Our corporate headquarters is in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2003, we streamlined our United States rental and management organization from three regions and ten areas to centralized management over seven areas. Each of our United States tower and services divisions are now led by a vice president who reports to our President, US Tower Division who, in turn, reports to our Chief Executive Officer. Our United States tower and services divisions are now centrally located in Boston and Atlanta, respectively, and are further subdivided into seven area operations centers that are staffed with skilled engineering, construction management and marketing personnel. Our centralized lease processing for the rental and management segment is based in Woburn, Massachusetts and our related accounting operations are based in Atlanta, Georgia. Our international regional centers are based in Mexico City, Mexico and Sao Paulo, Brazil. We believe our United States and international regional and area operations centers are capable of responding effectively to the opportunities and customer needs of their defined geographic areas.

 

Regulatory Matters

 

Towers and Licenses. Both the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) and the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) regulate towers used for wireless communications and radio and television broadcasting. These regulations govern the siting, lighting, marking and maintenance of towers. Depending on factors such as tower height and proximity to public airfields, the construction of new towers or modifications to existing towers must be reviewed by the FAA prior to initiation to ensure that the tower will not present a hazard to aircraft navigation. After the FAA issues a “No Hazard” determination, the tower owner must register the tower with the FCC and paint and light the tower in accordance with the FAA determination. The FAA review and the FCC registration processes are prerequisites to FCC authorization of communications devices placed on the tower. Tower owners bear the responsibility for notifying the FAA of any tower lighting failures and for the repair of those lighting failures. Tower owners also must notify the FCC when ownership of a tower changes. We generally indemnify our customers against any failure to comply with applicable standards. Failure to comply with applicable tower-related requirements may lead to monetary penalties.

 

The FCC separately regulates and licenses wireless communications devices and radio and television stations transmitting from the towers. We hold, through various subsidiaries, certain private microwave licenses granted by the FCC. We are required to obtain the FCC’s approval prior to assigning these licenses or transferring control of any entity of ours which holds FCC licenses.

 

In January 2001, the FCC concluded investigations of several operators of communications towers, including us. The FCC sent us a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (“NAL”) preliminarily determining that we had failed to file certain informational forms, had failed to properly post certain information at various tower sites, and on one occasion had failed to properly light a tower. The FCC also ordered an additional review of our overall procedures for and degree of compliance with the FCC’s regulations. We reached a settlement with

 

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the FCC regarding the compliance issues arising out of the NAL in the form of a Consent Decree. As part of the Consent Decree, the FCC rescinded the NAL and terminated the further investigation ordered in the NAL. In September 2001 we made a voluntary contribution of $0.3 million to the U.S. Treasury and agreed to maintain an active compliance plan. Failure to comply with the Consent Decree may lead to additional monetary penalties and loss of the right to hold our various registrations and licenses. The Consent Decree expires in August 2004.

 

The FCC considers the construction of a new tower or collocation of an antenna on an existing antenna structure (including building rooftops and watertanks) to be a federal undertaking subject to prior environmental review and approval under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (“NEPA”), which obligates federal agencies to evaluate the environmental impacts of undertakings to determine whether they may significantly affect the environment. The FCC has issued regulations implementing NEPA as well as the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). These regulations place responsibility on each FCC applicant or licensee to investigate potential environmental and other effects of operations and to disclose any significant impacts in an environmental assessment prior to constructing a tower or collocating an antenna. If a tower or collocation may have a significant impact on the environment, FCC approval of the tower or collocation could be significantly delayed.

 

In August 2002, certain environmental groups asked the FCC to review the tower registrations of more than 5,000 towers in the gulf coast region to assess compliance with the ESA and Migratory Bird Treaty Act and to require the filing of new or revised environmental assessments under NEPA for all towers in the region. We own a number of the towers identified in the pleading. However, because the pleading was not served on us, we have not been asked by the FCC to respond. PCIA, a trade association representing the tower industry, has asked the FCC to dismiss the pleading based on numerous grounds. The matter is pending. In February 2003, the same environmental groups filed suit against the FCC in a federal appeals court, asking the court to force the FCC to address the groups’ pending requests and appeals, and asked the court to force the FCC to adopt more stringent environmental rules. Depending on how the court rules, we could be subject to increased compliance obligations. In addition, a ruling in the federal appeals court could affect the groups’ pending cases with the FCC.

 

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 amended the Communications Act of 1934 by limiting state and local zoning authorities’ jurisdiction over the construction, modification and placement of wireless communications towers. The law preserves local zoning authority but prohibits any action that would discriminate between different providers of wireless services or ban altogether the construction, modification or placement of communications towers. It also prohibits state or local restrictions based on the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent the facilities comply with FCC regulations. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 also requires the federal government to help licensees of wireless communications services gain access to preferred sites for their facilities. This may require that federal agencies and departments work directly with licensees to make federal property available for towers

 

We are also subject to local and county zoning restrictions and restrictive covenants imposed by local authorities or community developers. These regulations vary greatly, but typically require tower owners and/or licensees to obtain approval from local officials or community standards organizations prior to tower construction or collocations on existing towers. Local zoning authorities often are in opposition to construction in their communities and these regulations can delay or prevent new tower construction, collocations or site upgrade projects, thereby limiting our ability to respond to customer demand. In addition, those regulations increase costs associated with new tower construction and collocation. Existing regulatory policies may adversely affect the timing or cost of new tower construction and collocations, and additional regulations may be adopted which increase delays or result in additional costs to us. These factors could adversely affect our construction program and operations.

 

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Our tower operations in Mexico and Brazil are also subject to regulation. If we pursue additional international opportunities, we will be subject to regulations in additional foreign jurisdictions. In addition, our customers, both domestic and foreign, also may be subject to new regulatory policies that may adversely affect the demand for communications sites.

 

Satellite and Fiber Network Access Services (Discontinued Operations). Our Verestar subsidiary is required to obtain licenses and other authorizations from the FCC for its use of radio frequencies to provide satellite and wireless services in the United States. Verestar also is required to obtain authorizations from foreign regulatory agencies in connection with its provision of these services abroad. Verestar also holds a number of point-to-point microwave radio licenses that are used to provide telecommunications services. Additionally, Verestar holds a number of satellite earth station licenses in connection with its operation of satellite-based networks. We and Verestar are required to obtain consent from the FCC prior to assigning these licenses or transferring control of any of our companies holding an FCC license.

 

Environmental Matters. Our operations, like those of other companies engaged in similar businesses, are subject to various federal, state and local and foreign environmental and occupational safety and health laws and regulations, including those relating to the management, use, storage, disposal, emission and remediation of, and exposure to, hazardous and non-hazardous substances, materials, and wastes, and the siting of our towers. As an owner, lessee and/or operator of real property and facilities, we may have liability under those laws for the costs of investigation, removal or remediation of soil and groundwater contaminated by hazardous substances or wastes. Certain of these laws impose cleanup responsibility and liability without regard to whether we, as the owner, lessee or operator, knew of or were responsible for the contamination, and whether or not we have discontinued operations or sold the property. We may also be subject to common law claims by third parties based on damages and costs resulting from off-site migration of contamination.

 

We, and our customers, also may be required to obtain permits, obey regulatory requirements, and make certain informational filings related to hazardous substances used at our sites by our customers. Violations of these types of regulations could subject us to fines and/or criminal sanctions. In October 2001, we paid $150,000 in civil penalties and entered into a settlement agreement that expires in 2006 related to certain alleged environmental permitting and filing violations in the County of Santa Clara in California.

 

Health, Safety and Transportation. As an FCC licensee, we are subject to regulations and guidelines imposing certain operational obligations relating to radio frequency emissions. As an employer, we are subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Act and similar guidelines regarding employee protection from radio frequency exposure. Our construction teams are subject to regulation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and equivalent state agencies concerning health and safety matters. Our heavy vehicles and their drivers are subject to regulation by the Department of Transportation (“DOT”). Our DOT compliance program is currently rated “Satisfactory,” the highest rating assigned by the DOT.

 

Competition

 

Rental and Management Segment

 

We compete for antennae site customers with other national tower companies (such as Crown Castle International Corp., SpectraSite, Inc., and SBA Communications Corp.), wireless carriers that own and operate their own tower networks and lease tower space to other carriers, numerous independent tower owners and the owners of non-tower sites, including rooftops, water towers and other alternative structures. We believe that tower location and capacity, price and quality of service historically have been and will continue to be the most significant competitive factors affecting owners, operators and managers of communications sites.

 

The emergence or growth of new technologies also may make it possible for wireless carriers to expand their use of existing infrastructure, which could reduce customer demand for our communications sites. The increased use of capacity enhancing technologies, such as lower-rate vocoders, and more spectrally efficient air-link standards, which potentially can relieve some network capacity problems, could reduce the demand for tower-based antenna space.

 

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Any increase in the use of network sharing or roaming or resale arrangements by wireless service providers also could adversely affect the demand for tower space. These arrangements, which are essentially extensions of traditional roaming agreements, enable a provider to serve customers outside its license area, to give licensed providers the right to enter into arrangements to serve overlapping license areas, and to permit non-licensed providers to enter the wireless marketplace. Consolidation among wireless carriers, such as the recently announced transaction between Cingular Wireless and AT&T Wireless, could have a similar impact on customer demand for our tower sites because the existing networks of many wireless carriers overlap. Although we do not expect the Cingular/AT&T Wireless transaction to have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, significant consolidation among wireless carriers may adversely affect demand for our tower sites and, accordingly, our revenues and cash flows.

 

Network Development Services Segment Competition. Our network development services compete with a variety of companies offering individual, or combinations of, competing services. The field of competitors includes site acquisition consultants, zoning consultants, real estate firms, right-of-way consulting firms, construction companies, tower owners/managers, radio frequency engineering consultants, telecommunications equipment vendors who can provide turnkey site development services through multiple subcontractors, and our customers’ internal staffs. We believe that our customers base their decisions on network development services on various criteria, including a company’s experience, track record, local reputation, price, and time for completion of a project.

 

We believe that we compete favorably as to the key competitive factors relating to our rental and management and network development services segments.

 

Construction, Manufacturing and Raw Materials

 

We build, maintain and install land-based wireless communications and broadcast transmitting and receiving facilities by obtaining steel and other raw material parts and components from a variety of vendors. We also engage third party contract manufacturers to construct certain of these facilities. We have historically obtained the majority of our raw material parts and components from a limited number of suppliers. However, substantially all of these items are available from numerous other suppliers. We have not, to date, experienced any significant difficulties in obtaining the needed quantities of materials from suppliers in a timely manner.

 

Employees

 

As of December 31, 2003, we employed approximately 1,400 full-time individuals, including approximately 250 employees in our deconsolidated Verestar subsidiary and approximately 80 employees in our discontinued Kline subsidiary, and consider our employee relations to be satisfactory.

 

Available Information

 

Our Internet website address is www.americantower.com. Information contained in our website is not incorporated by reference into this annual report, and you should not consider information contained in our website as part of this annual report. You may access, free of charge, our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K, plus amendments to such reports as filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, through the Investors portion of our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

We have adopted a written code of conduct that applies to all of our employees and directors, including, but not limited to, our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, and principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions. The code of conduct, our corporate governance guidelines, and the charters of our audit, compensation, and nominating and corporate governance committees, are available at the Investors portion of our website. In the event we amend, or provide any waivers from, the provisions of this code of conduct, we intend to disclose these events on our website as required by law.

 

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In addition, paper copies of these documents may be obtained free of charge by writing us at the following address: 116 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02116, Attention: Vice President of Finance, Investor Relations; or by calling us at (617) 375-7500.

 

Factors That May Affect Future Results

 

Decrease in demand for tower space would materially and adversely affect our operating results and we cannot control that demand.

 

Many of the factors affecting the demand for wireless communications tower space, and to a lesser extent our network development services business, could materially affect our operating results. Those factors include:

 

  consumer demand for wireless services;

 

  the financial condition of wireless service providers;

 

  the ability and willingness of wireless service providers to maintain or increase their capital expenditures;

 

  the growth rate of wireless communications or of a particular wireless segment;

 

  governmental licensing of broadcast rights;

 

  mergers or consolidations among wireless service providers;

 

  increased use of network sharing arrangements or roaming and resale arrangements by wireless service providers;

 

  delays or changes in the deployment of 3G or other technologies;

 

  zoning, environmental, health and other government regulations; and

 

  technological changes.

 

The demand for broadcast antenna space is dependent, to a significantly lesser extent, on the needs of television and radio broadcasters. Among other things, technological advances, including the development of satellite-delivered radio, may reduce the need for tower-based broadcast transmission. We could also be affected adversely should the development of digital television be further delayed or impaired, or if demand for it were less than anticipated because of delays, disappointing technical performance or cost to the consumer.

 

Substantial leverage and debt service obligations may adversely affect us.

 

We have a substantial amount of indebtedness. As of December 31, 2003, we had approximately $3.4 billion of consolidated debt.

 

Our substantial level of indebtedness increases the possibility that we may be unable to generate cash sufficient to pay when due the principal of, interest on or other amounts due in respect of our indebtedness. Approximately 21% of our outstanding indebtedness bears interest at floating rates. As a result, our interest payment obligations on such indebtedness will increase if interest rates increase.

 

Our substantial leverage could have significant negative consequences on our financial condition and results of operations, including:

 

  impairing our ability to meet one or more of the financial ratios contained in our debt agreements or to generate cash sufficient to pay interest or principal, including periodic principal amortization payments, which events could result in an acceleration of some or all of our outstanding debt as a result of cross-default provisions;

 

  increasing our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;

 

  limiting our ability to obtain additional debt or equity financing;

 

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  requiring the dedication of a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to service our debt, thereby reducing the amount of our cash flow available for other purposes, including capital expenditures;

 

  requiring us to sell debt or equity securities or to sell some of our core assets, possibly on unfavorable terms, to meet payment obligations;

 

  limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industries in which we compete; and

 

  placing us at a possible competitive disadvantage with less leveraged competitors and competitors that may have better access to capital resources.

 

Restrictive covenants in our credit facilities and indentures could adversely affect our business by limiting flexibility.

 

Our credit facilities and the indentures governing the terms of our other debt securities contain restrictive covenants and, in the case of the credit facilities, requirements that we comply with certain leverage and other financial tests. These limit our ability to take various actions, including incurring additional debt, guaranteeing indebtedness, issuing preferred stock, engaging in various types of transactions, including mergers and sales of assets, and paying dividends and making distributions or other restricted payments, including investments. These covenants could have an adverse effect on our business by limiting our ability to take advantage of financing, new tower development, merger and acquisition or other opportunities.

 

Our participation or inability to participate in tower industry consolidation could involve certain risks.

 

We believe there are benefits to consolidation among tower companies, and have in the past and may in the future explore merger or acquisition transactions with one or more other companies in our industry. Any merger or acquisition transaction would involve several risks to our business, including demands on managerial personnel that could divert their attention from other aspects of our core leasing business, increased operating risks due to the integration of major national networks into our operational system, and potential antitrust constraints, either in local markets or on a regional basis, that could require selective divestitures at unfavorable prices. Any completed transaction may have an adverse effect on our operating results, particularly in the fiscal quarters immediately following its completion while we integrate the operations of the other business. In addition, once integrated, combined operations may not necessarily achieve the levels of revenues, profitability or productivity anticipated. There also may be limitations on our ability to consummate a merger or acquisition transaction. For example, any transaction would have to comply with the terms of our credit facilities and note indentures, or may require the consent of lenders under those instruments that might be required that might not be obtainable on acceptable terms. In addition, regulatory constraints might impede or prevent business combinations. Our inability to consummate a merger or acquisition for these or other reasons could result in our failure to participate in the expected benefits of industry consolidation and may have an adverse effect on our ability to compete effectively.

 

If our wireless service provider customers consolidate or merge with each other to a significant degree, our growth, revenue and ability to generate positive cash flows could be adversely affected.

 

Significant consolidation among our wireless service provider customers, such as the recently announced transaction between Cingular Wireless and AT&T Wireless, may result in reduced capital expenditures in the aggregate because the existing networks of many wireless carriers overlap, as do their expansion plans. Similar consequences might occur if wireless service providers engage in extensive sharing, roaming or resale arrangements as an alternative to leasing our antennae space. In January 2003, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) eliminated its spectrum cap, which prohibited wireless carriers from owning more than 45 MHz of spectrum in any given geographical area, expired. The FCC has also eliminated the cross-interest rule

 

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for metropolitan areas, which limited an entity’s ability to own interests in multiple cellular licenses in an overlapping geographical service area. Also, in May 2003, the FCC adopted new rules authorizing wireless radio services holding exclusive licenses to freely lease unused spectrum. Some wireless carriers may be encouraged to consolidate with each other as a result of these regulatory changes as a means to strengthen their financial condition. Consolidation among wireless carriers would also increase our risk that the loss of one or more of our major customers could materially decrease revenues and cash flows.

 

Due to the long-term expectations of revenue from tenant leases, the tower industry is sensitive to the creditworthiness of its tenants.

 

Due to the long-term nature of our tenant leases, we, like others in the tower industry, are dependent on the continued financial strength of our tenants. Many wireless service providers operate with substantial leverage. During the past two years, several of our customers have filed for bankruptcy, although to date these bankruptcies have not had a material adverse effect on our business or revenues. In addition, Iusacell Celular, which is our largest customer in Mexico and accounted for approximately 4.7% of our total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2003 and approximately 3.7% for the year ended December 31, 2002, is currently in default under its debt obligations. If one or more of our major customers experience financial difficulties or if Iusacell files for bankruptcy, it could result in uncollectible accounts receivable and our loss of significant customers and anticipated lease revenues.

 

Our foreign operations are subject to expropriation risk, governmental regulation, funds inaccessibility and foreign exchange exposure.

 

Our expansion in Mexico and Brazil, and any other possible foreign operations in the future, could result in adverse financial consequences and operational problems not experienced in the United States. We have loaned $119.8 million (undiscounted) to a Mexican company, own or have the economic rights to over 1,800 towers in Mexico, including approximately 200 broadcast towers (after giving effect to pending transactions) and, subject to certain rejection rights, are contractually committed to construct up to approximately 400 additional towers in that country over the next three years. We also own or have acquired the rights to approximately 425 communications towers in Brazil and are, subject to certain rejection rights, contractually committed to construct up to 350 additional towers in that country over the next three years. The actual number of sites constructed will vary depending on the build out plans of the applicable carrier. We may, if economic and capital market conditions permit, also engage in comparable transactions in other countries in the future. Among the risks of foreign operations are governmental expropriation and regulation, the credit quality of our customers, inability to repatriate earnings or other funds, currency fluctuations, difficulty in recruiting trained personnel, and language and cultural differences, all of which could adversely affect our operations.

 

A substantial portion of our revenues is derived from a small number of customers.

 

A substantial portion of our total operating revenues is derived from a small number of customers. Approximately 61.5% of our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2003 were derived from eight customers. Our largest domestic customer is Verizon Wireless, which represented approximately 12.3% of our total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2003. If the recently announced transaction between Cingular Wireless and AT&T Wireless had occurred as of January 1, 2003, however, the combined revenues would have represented approximately 15.0% of our total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2003. Our largest international customer is a group of companies affiliated with Azteca Holdings, S.A. de C.V., including TV Azteca, Unefon and, due to its acquisition in 2003 by Movil Access, an affiliate of Azteca Holdings, Iusacell Celular. Iusacell Celular, Unefon and their affiliates collectively represented approximately 7.5% of our total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2003. In addition, we received $14.2 million in interest income, net, for the year ended December 31, 2003, from TV Azteca. If any of these customers were unwilling or unable to perform their obligations under our agreements with them, our revenues, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.

 

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In the ordinary course of our business, we also sometimes experience disputes with our customers, generally regarding the interpretation of terms in our agreements. Although historically we have resolved most of these disputes in a manner that did not have a material adverse effect on our company or our customer relationships, these disputes could lead to a termination of our agreements with customers or a material modification of the terms of those agreements, either of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. If we are forced to resolve any of these disputes through litigation, our relationship with the applicable customer could be terminated or damaged, which could lead to decreased revenues or increased costs, resulting in a corresponding adverse effect on our operating results.

 

New technologies could make our tower antenna leasing services less desirable to potential tenants and result in decreasing revenues.

 

The development and implementation of new technologies designed to enhance the efficiency of wireless networks could reduce the use and need for tower-based wireless services transmission and reception and have the effect of decreasing demand for antenna space. Examples of such technologies include technologies that enhance spectral capacity, such as lower-rate vocoders, which can increase the capacity at existing sites and reduce the number of additional sites a given carrier needs to serve any given subscriber base. In addition, the emergence of new technologies could reduce the need for tower-based broadcast services transmission and reception. For example, the growth in delivery of video services by direct broadcast satellites could adversely affect demand for our antenna space. The development and implementation of any of these and similar technologies to any significant degree could have an adverse effect on our operations.

 

We could have liability under environmental laws.

 

Our operations, like those of other companies engaged in similar businesses, are subject to the requirements of various federal, state and local and foreign environmental and occupational safety and health laws and regulations, including those relating to the management, use, storage, disposal, emission and remediation of, and exposure to, hazardous and non-hazardous substances, materials and wastes. As owner, lessee or operator of approximately 15,000 real estate sites, we may be liable for substantial costs of remediating soil and groundwater contaminated by hazardous materials, without regard to whether we, as the owner, lessee or operator, knew of or were responsible for the contamination. In addition, we cannot assure you that we are at all times in complete compliance with all environmental requirements. We may be subject to potentially significant fines or penalties if we fail to comply with any of these requirements. The current cost of complying with these laws is not material to our financial condition or results of operations. However, the requirements of these laws and regulations are complex, change frequently, and could become more stringent in the future. It is possible that these requirements will change or that liabilities will arise in the future in a manner that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our business is subject to government regulations and changes in current or future laws or regulations could restrict our ability to operate our business as we currently do.

 

We are subject to federal, state, local and foreign regulation of our business, including regulation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the FCC, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Both the FCC and the FAA regulate towers used for wireless communications and radio and television antennae and the FCC separately regulates transmitting devices operating on towers. Similar regulations exist in Mexico, Brazil and other foreign countries regarding wireless communications and the operation of communications towers. Local zoning authorities and community organizations are often opposed to construction in their communities and these regulations can delay, prevent or increase the cost of new tower construction, collocations or site upgrade projects, thereby limiting our ability to respond to customer demand. Existing regulatory policies may adversely affect the timing or cost of new tower construction and locations and additional regulations may be adopted that increase delays or result in additional costs to us or that prevent or restrict new tower construction in certain locations. These factors could adversely affect our operations.

 

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Increasing competition in the tower industry may create pricing pressures that may adversely affect us.

 

Our industry is highly competitive, and our customers have numerous alternatives for leasing antenna space. Some of our competitors are larger and have greater financial resources than we do, while other competitors are in weak financial condition or may have lower return on investment criteria than we do. Competitive pricing pressures for tenants on towers from these competitors could adversely affect our lease rates and services income.

 

In addition, if we lose customers due to pricing, we may not be able to replace these customers, leading to an accompanying adverse effect on our profitability. Increasing competition could also make the acquisition of high quality tower assets more costly.

 

Our competition includes:

 

  national tower companies;

 

  wireless carriers that own towers and lease antenna space to other carriers;

 

  site development companies that purchase antenna space on existing towers for wireless carriers and manage new tower construction; and

 

  alternative site structures (e.g., building rooftops, billboards and utility poles).

 

Our costs could increase and our revenues could decrease due to perceived health risks from radio emissions, especially if these perceived risks are substantiated.

 

Public perception of possible health risks associated with cellular and other wireless communications media could slow the growth of wireless companies, which could in turn slow our growth. In particular, negative public perception of, and regulations regarding, these perceived health risks could slow the market acceptance of wireless communications services and increase opposition to the development and expansion of tower sites. The potential connection between radio frequency emissions and certain negative health effects has been the subject of substantial study by the scientific community in recent years. To date, the results of these studies have been inconclusive.

 

If a connection between radio frequency emissions and possible negative health effects, including cancer, were established, or if the public perception that such a connection exists were to increase, our operations, costs and revenues would be materially and adversely affected. We do not maintain any significant insurance with respect to these matters.

 

The bankruptcy proceeding of our Verestar subsidiary exposes us to risks and uncertainties.

 

Our wholly owned subsidiary, Verestar, Inc., filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws on December 22, 2003. Verestar was reported as a discontinued operation in December 2002 for financial statement purposes and, as of the date of the bankruptcy filing, was deconsolidated for financial statement purposes.

 

If Verestar fails to honor certain of its contractual obligations because of its bankruptcy filing or otherwise, claims may be made against us for breaches by Verestar of those contracts as to which we are primarily or secondarily liable as a guarantor, which we do not expect will exceed $10.0 million. In addition, Verestar’s bankruptcy estate may bring certain claims against us or seek to hold us liable for certain transfers made by Verestar to us and/or for Verestar’s obligations to creditors under various equitable theories recognized under bankruptcy law. The outcome of complex litigation (including those claims which may be asserted against us by Verestar’s bankruptcy estate) cannot be predicted with certainty and is dependent upon many factors beyond our control. Finally, we will incur additional costs in connection with our involvement in the reorganization or liquidation of Verestar’s business.

 

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ITEM 2.    PROPERTIES

 

Our principal offices are located in Boston, Southborough and Woburn, Massachusetts; Atlanta, Georgia; Mexico City, Mexico; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Details of each of these offices are provided below:

 

Location


 

Function


 

Size (square feet)


 

Property Interest


Boston

  Corporate Headquarters; US Tower Division   30,000(1)   Leased

Southborough

  Data Center   13,900   Leased

Woburn

  Lease Administration   34,000   Owned

Atlanta

  US Tower and Services Division; Accounting  

17,900 (Rental)

4,800 (Services)

  Leased

Mexico City

  Mexico Headquarters   12,300   Leased

Sao Paulo

  Brazil Headquarters   3,200   Leased

(1) Of the total 30,000 square feet in our current leasehold, we are consolidating our operations into 20,000 square feet during 2004 and are currently offering the remaining 10,000 square feet for re-lease or sub-lease.

 

We have seven additional area offices in the United States through which our tower leasing and services businesses are operated on a local basis. These offices are located in Ontario, California; Marietta, Georgia; Crest Hill, Illinois; Worcester, Massachusetts; New Hudson, Michigan; Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; and Kent, Washington. In addition, we maintain smaller field offices within each of the areas at locations as needed from time to time.

 

Our interests in individual communications sites are comprised of a variety of fee and leasehold interests in land and/or buildings (rooftops). Of the approximately 15,000 towers comprising our portfolio, approximately 16% are located on parcels of land that we own and approximately 84% are either located on parcels of land that have leasehold interests created by long-term lease agreements, private easements and easements, licenses or rights-of-way granted by government entities, or are sites that we manage for third parties. In rural areas, a wireless communications site typically consists of a 10,000 square foot tract, which supports towers, equipment shelters and guy wires to stabilize the structure, whereas a broadcast tower site typically consists of a tract of land of up to twenty-acres. Less than 2,500 square feet are required for a monopole or self-supporting tower structure of the kind typically used in metropolitan areas for wireless communication tower sites. Land leases generally have an initial term of five years with three or four additional automatic renewal periods of five years, for a total of twenty to twenty-five years.

 

Pursuant to our credit facilities, our lenders have liens on, among other things, all towers, leasehold interests, tenant leases and contracts relating to the management of towers for others.

 

We believe that our owned and leased facilities are suitable and adequate to meet our anticipated needs.

 

ITEM 3.    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

We periodically become involved in various claims and lawsuits that are incidental to our business. We believe, after consultation with counsel, that no matters currently pending would, in the event of an adverse outcome, have a material impact on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or liquidity.

 

ITEM 4.    SUBMISSION OF MATTERS TO A VOTE OF SECURITY HOLDERS

 

None.

 

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PART II

 

ITEM 5.    MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER

MATTERS

 

The following table presents reported high and low sale prices of our Class A common stock on the Composite Tape of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for the years 2003 and 2002.

 

2003


   High

   Low

Quarter ended March 31

   $ 5.94    $ 3.55

Quarter ended June 30

     9.90      5.41

Quarter ended September 30

     11.74      8.73

Quarter ended December 31

     12.00      9.59

2002


         

Quarter ended March 31

     10.40      3.50

Quarter ended June 30

     5.65      2.70

Quarter ended September 30

     3.55      1.10

Quarter ended December 31

     4.29      0.60

 

On March 5, 2004, the closing price of our Class A common stock was $11.79 as reported on the NYSE.

 

The outstanding shares of common stock and number of registered holders as of December 31, 2003 were as follows:

 

     Class

     A

   B

   C

Outstanding shares

   211,710,437    6,969,529    1,224,914

Registered holders

   805    49    1

 

In February 2004, all outstanding shares of Class B common stock were converted into shares of Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis pursuant to the occurrence of the “Dodge Conversion Event” as defined in our charter. Our charter prohibits the future issuance of shares of Class B common stock. Also in February 2004, all outstanding shares of Class C common stock were converted into shares of Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis. Our charter permits the issuance of shares of Class C common stock in the future.

 

The information under “Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans” from the Definitive Proxy Statement is hereby incorporated by reference into Item 12 of this annual report.

 

Dividends

 

We have never paid a dividend on any class of our common stock. We anticipate that we will retain future earnings, if any, to service our debt and to fund the development and growth of our business and, therefore, do not anticipate paying cash dividends on shares of our common stock in the foreseeable future. Our borrower subsidiaries are prohibited under the terms of their credit facilities from paying cash dividends or making other distributions on, or making redemptions, purchases or other acquisitions of, their capital stock or other equity interests, including preferred stock, except that, beginning on April 15, 2004, if no default exists or would be created thereby under the credit facilities, our borrower subsidiaries may pay cash dividends or make other distributions to the extent that restricted payments, as defined in the credit facilities, do not exceed 50% of excess cash flow, as defined in the credit facilities, for the preceding calendar year. The 12.25% senior subordinated discount notes due 2008 and the 7.25% senior subordinated notes due 2011 of American Towers, Inc. (ATI), our

 

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principal operating subsidiary, impose similar limitations on the ability of ATI and certain of our subsidiaries that have guaranteed these notes (sister guarantors) to pay dividends and make other distributions. The indentures for our 9 3/8% senior notes due 2009 and our 7.50% notes due 2012 also impose significant limitations on the payment of dividends by us to our stockholders.

 

ITEM 6.    SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

We have derived the following selected financial data from our audited consolidated financial statements, certain of which are included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. You should read the selected financial data in conjunction with our “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and our audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes to those consolidated financial statements included in this annual report on Form 10-K.

 

Our continuing operations are reported in two segments, rental and management and network development services. In accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, the consolidated statements of operations for all periods presented in this “Selected Financial Data” have been adjusted to reflect certain businesses as discontinued operations (see note 2 to our consolidated financial statements).

 

Year-to-year comparisons are significantly affected by our acquisitions, dispositions and, to a lesser extent, construction of towers. Our principal acquisitions and dispositions are described in “Business—Recent Transactions” and in the notes to our consolidated financial statements.

 

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     Year Ended December 31,

 
     2003

    2002

    2001

    2000

    1999

 
     (In thousands, except per share data)  

Statement of Operations Data:

                                        

Revenues:

                                        

Rental and management

   $ 619,697     $ 544,906     $ 431,051     $ 269,282     $ 131,245  

Network development services

     95,447       130,176       223,926       158,201       67,039  
    


 


 


 


 


Total operating revenues

     715,144       675,082       654,977       427,483       198,284  
    


 


 


 


 


Operating expenses:

                                        

Rental and management

     222,724       226,786       209,923       135,891       60,915  

Network development services

     88,943       118,591       199,568       140,758       55,217  

Depreciation and amortization (1)

     313,465       312,866       334,917       236,334       116,242  

Corporate general, administrative and development expense

     26,867       30,229       34,310       29,378       10,542  

Impairments, net loss on sale of long-lived assets and restructuring expense

     31,656       101,372       79,496                  
    


 


 


 


 


Total operating expenses

     683,655       789,844       858,214       542,361       242,916  
    


 


 


 


 


Operating income (loss) from continuing operations

     31,489       (114,762 )     (203,237 )     (114,878 )     (44,632 )

Interest income, TV Azteca, net

     14,222       13,938       14,377       12,679       1,856  

Interest income

     5,255       3,496       28,372       15,948       17,850  

Interest expense

     (279,875 )     (254,446 )     (267,199 )     (151,702 )     (27,274 )

Loss on retirement of long-term obligations

     (46,197 )     (8,869 )     (26,336 )     (24,198 )        

(Loss) income on investments and other expense

     (29,819 )     (25,559 )     (38,795 )     (2,465 )     74  

Minority interest in net earnings of subsidiaries

     (3,703 )     (2,118 )     (318 )     (202 )     (142 )
    


 


 


 


 


Loss from continuing operations before income taxes

     (308,628 )     (388,320 )     (493,136 )     (264,818 )     (52,268 )

Income tax benefit

     66,137       67,783       102,032       72,795       4,479  
    


 


 


 


 


Loss from continuing operations before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle

   $ (242,491 )   $ (320,537 )   $ (391,104 )   $ (192,023 )   $ (47,789 )
    


 


 


 


 


Basic and diluted loss per common share from continuing operations before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle (2)

   $ (1.17 )   $ (1.64 )   $ (2.04 )   $ (1.14 )   $ (0.32 )
    


 


 


 


 


Weighted average common shares outstanding (2)

     208,098       195,454       191,586       168,715       149,749  
    


 


 


 


 


Other Operating Data:

                                        

Ratio of earnings to fixed charges (3)

     —         —         —         —         —    
     December 31,

 
     2003

    2002

    2001

    2000

    1999

 
       (In thousands)  

Balance Sheet Data:

        

Cash and cash equivalents (including restricted cash and investments) (4)

   $ 275,501     $ 127,292     $ 130,029     $ 128,074     $ 25,212  

Property and equipment, net

     2,546,525       2,694,999       3,287,573       2,296,670       1,092,346  

Total assets

     5,332,488       5,662,203       6,829,723       5,660,679       3,018,866  

Long-term obligations, including current portion

     3,361,225       3,448,514       3,561,960       2,468,223       740,822  

Total stockholders’ equity

     1,711,547       1,740,323       2,869,196       2,877,030       2,145,083  

 

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(1) As of January 1, 2002, we adopted the provisions of SFAS No. 142, “Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets,” (SFAS No. 142). Accordingly, we ceased amortizing goodwill on January 1, 2002. The statements of operations for all periods presented except for the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2002 include goodwill amortization. The adoption of SFAS No. 142 reduced amortization expense in continuing operations by approximately $67.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2002.
(2) We computed basic and diluted loss per common share from continuing operations before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle using the weighted average number of shares outstanding during each period presented. We have excluded shares issuable upon exercise of options and other common stock equivalents from the computations, as their effect is anti-dilutive.
(3) For purposes of calculating this ratio, “earnings” consists of loss from continuing operations before income taxes, fixed charges (excluding interest capitalized), minority interest in net earnings of subsidiaries, losses from equity investments and amortization of interest capitalized. “Fixed charges” consist of interest expensed and capitalized, amortization of debt discount and related issuance costs and the component of rental expense associated with operating leases believed by management to be representative of the interest factor thereon. We had a deficiency in earnings to fixed charges in each period as follows (in thousands): 2003$301,202; 2002$380,745; 2001$497,488; 2000$272,783; and 1999$55,299.
(4) Includes, as of December 31, 2003, approximately $170.0 million of restricted funds to be held in escrow to pay, repurchase, redeem or retire certain of our outstanding debt. Any balance remaining on June 30, 2004 from the January 2003 12.25% senior subordinated discount notes offering must be used to prepay a portion of the term loans under our credit facilities. Includes, as of December 31, 2001 and 2000, approximately $94.1 million and $46.0 million, respectively, of restricted funds required under our credit facilities to be held in escrow through August 2002 to fund scheduled interest payments on our outstanding senior and convertible notes.

 

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ITEM 7.    MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

The discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations that follows are based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses, and the related disclosures in our financial statements. Actual results may differ significantly from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions. This discussion should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes thereto and the information set forth under the heading “Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates” on page 38.

 

Our continuing operations are reported in two segments, rental and management and network development services. Management focuses on segment profit (loss) as a means to measure operating performance in these business segments. We define segment operating profit (loss) as segment revenues less segment operating expenses excluding depreciation and amortization; corporate general, administrative and development expense; and impairments, net loss on sale of long-lived assets and restructuring expense. Segment profit (loss) for the rental and management segment includes interest income, TV Azteca, net (see note 16 to our consolidated financial statements). In accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, the consolidated statements of operations for periods presented in this “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” have been adjusted to reflect certain businesses as discontinued operations (see note 2 to our consolidated financial statements).

 

Executive Overview

 

Our principal operating segment is our rental and management segment, which accounted for approximately 86.7% and 80.7% of our total revenues and approximately 98.4% and 96.6% of our segment operating profit for the years ending December 31, 2003 and 2002, respectively. The primary factors affecting the stability and growth of our revenues and cash flows for this segment are our recurring revenues from existing tenant leases and the contractual escalators in those leases, leasing additional space on our existing towers, and acquiring and building additional tower sites. We continue to believe that our leasing revenue is likely to grow more rapidly than revenue from our network development services segment due to our strategic focus on our rental and management segment, the continuing growth in the use of wireless communications services and our ability to utilize existing tower capacity. In addition, we believe the majority of our leasing activity will continue to come from broadband-services customers.

 

The majority of our tenant leases with wireless carriers are for an initial term of five to ten years (fifteen to twenty for broadcast tenants). Accordingly, a significant majority of the revenue generated by our rental and management segment as of the end of December 2003 is recurring revenue that we should continue to receive in future periods. In addition, most of our leases have provisions that periodically increase the rent due under the lease. These contractual escalators are typically annual and are based on a fixed percentage (generally three to five percent), inflation, or a fixed percentage plus inflation. Rate increases based on fixed escalation clauses are recognized on a straight-line basis over the terms of the applicable agreement.

 

The primary factor affecting our ability to lease additional space on our existing towers is the rate at which wireless carriers choose to deploy capital to improve and expand their networks. This rate, in turn, is influenced by the growth of wireless communications services and the infrastructure needed to support these services, the financial performance of our customers and their access to capital, and general economic conditions. In 2003, our revenue growth on towers that existed during the entire period beginning January 1, 2002 and ending December 31, 2003, was approximately $50.0 million. Based on our understanding of our customers’ capital spending and network development plans, we do not expect these trends will change materially in 2004.

 

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In 2002 and 2003, we acquired or constructed 580 and 618 towers, respectively. Because of the nature of our recurring revenues described above, our results of operations only reflect revenues generated by the acquired and newly constructed tower sites following their respective dates of acquisition or construction, which affects year-to-year comparisons. For the year ending December 31, 2003, approximately $28.0 million of our revenue was attributable to towers that we acquired or constructed in 2002, and approximately $16.0 million of our revenue was attributable to towers that we acquired or constructed in 2003.

 

Our rental and management segment operating expenses are comprised of two major categories: direct tower level expenses and allocable selling, general and administrative expenses. Our direct tower level expenses consist primarily of ground rent, maintenance, taxes and utilities. Because our operating expenses generally do not increase significantly when we add additional customers on a tower site, leasing space to new customers on our existing sites provides significant incremental cash flow. Our profit margin growth is, therefore, directly related to the number of new tenants added to our existing tower sites and the related rental revenue generated in a particular period.

 

Our selling, general and administrative expenses have two major components. The first component consists of expenses necessary to support our site leasing and network development services such as sales and property management functions. The second component consists of expenses incurred to support all of our operations, such as legal, accounting, human resources and other administrative support. In connection with organizational initiatives in 2002 and 2003 to manage our operations more efficiently, these expenses have decreased over these periods, and we expect them to be relatively stable in 2004.

 

 

Results of Operations

 

Years Ended December 31, 2003 and 2002

 

 

    Year Ended December 31,

   

Amount of
Increase

(Decrease)


   

Percent

Increase

(Decrease)


 
    2003

    2002

     
    (In thousands)  

REVENUES:

                             

Rental and management

  $ 619,697     $ 544,906     $ 74,791     14 %

Network development services

    95,447       130,176       (34,729 )   (27 )
   


 


 


     

Total revenues

    715,144       675,082       40,062     6  
   


 


 


     

OPERATING EXPENSES:

                             

Rental and management

    222,724       226,786       (4,062 )   (2 )

Network development services

    88,943       118,591       (29,648 )   (25 )

Depreciation and amortization

    313,465       312,866       599     —    

Corporate general, administrative and development expense

    26,867       30,229       (3,362 )   (11 )

Impairments, net loss on sale of long-lived assets and restructuring expense

    31,656       101,372       (69,716 )   (69 )
   


 


 


     

Total operating expenses

    683,655       789,844       (106,189 )   (13 )
   


 


 


     

OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE):

                             

Interest income, TV Azteca, net

    14,222       13,938       284     2  

Interest income

    5,255       3,496       1,759     50  

Interest expense

    (279,875 )     (254,446 )     25,429     10  

Loss on retirement of long-term obligations

    (46,197 )     (8,869 )     37,328     421  

Loss on investments and other expense

    (29,819 )     (25,559 )     4,260     17  

Minority interest in net earnings of subsidiaries

    (3,703 )     (2,118 )     1,585     75  

Income tax benefit

    66,137       67,783       (1,646 )   (2 )

Loss from discontinued operations, net

    (60,926 )     (258,724 )     (197,798 )   (76 )

Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net

            (562,618 )     (562,618 )   N/A  
   


 


 


     

Net loss

  $ (303,417 )   $ (1,141,879 )   $ (838,462 )   (73 )%
   


 


 


     

 

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Total Revenues

 

Total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2003 were $715.1 million, an increase of $40.1 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The increase resulted from an increase in rental and management revenues of $74.8 million, offset by a decrease in network development services revenue of $34.7 million.

 

Rental and Management Revenue

 

Rental and management revenue for the year ended December 31, 2003 was $619.7 million, an increase of $74.8 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The increase resulted primarily from adding additional broadband tenants to towers that existed as of January 1, 2002 and, to a lesser extent, from revenue generated on the approximately 1,200 towers acquired and/or constructed subsequent to January 1, 2002.

 

We continue to believe that our leasing revenue, which drives our core business, is likely to grow more rapidly than revenue from our network development services segment due to our expected increase in utilization of existing tower capacity. In addition, we believe that the majority of our leasing activity will continue to come from broadband type customers.

 

Network Development Services Revenue

 

Network development services revenue for the year ended December 31, 2003 was $95.4 million, a decrease of $34.7 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The decline in revenues during 2003 resulted primarily from decreases in revenue related to construction management, installation and tower maintenance services, resulting from lower levels of construction activity and reduced demand for related services in the wireless telecommunications industry.

 

Total Operating Expenses

 

Total operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2003 were $683.7 million, a decrease of $106.2 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The principal components of the decrease were attributable to expense decreases in our network development services segment of $29.6 million and a decrease in impairments, net loss on sale of long-lived assets and restructuring expense of $69.7 million. The remaining components of the decrease were attributable to decreases in expenses within our rental and management segment of $4.1 million and a decrease in corporate general, administrative and development expense of $3.4 million.

 

Rental and Management Expense/Segment Profit

 

Rental and management expense for the year ended December 31, 2003 was $222.7 million, a decrease of $4.1 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The decrease resulted primarily from a decrease in certain rental and management segment overhead costs, partially offset by an increase in tower expenses related to the 1,200 towers we have acquired/constructed since January 1, 2002 due to their inclusion in our results for a full year in 2003.

 

Rental and management segment profit for the year ended December 31, 2003 was $411.2 million, an increase of $79.1 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The increase resulted primarily from incremental revenues and operating profit from adding additional broadband tenants to existing towers and newly acquired and/or constructed towers, coupled with a net reduction in tower expenses, as discussed above.

 

Network Development Services Expense/Segment Profit

 

Network development services expense for the year ended December 31, 2003 was $88.9 million, a decrease of $29.6 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The majority of the decrease was due to an overall decline in demand for the services performed by this segment, as discussed above, partially offset by decreases in overhead and related infrastructure costs.

 

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Network development services segment profit for the year ended December 31, 2003 was $6.5 million, a decrease of $5.1 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The decrease resulted primarily from a decline in revenue, as discussed above, partially offset by expense reductions, as discussed above.

 

Corporate General, Administrative and Development Expense

 

Corporate general, administrative and development expense for the year ended December 31, 2003 was $26.9 million, a decrease of $3.4 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The decrease resulted primarily from a decrease in development expense as a result of our curtailed acquisition and development related activities.

 

Impairments, Net Loss on Sale of Long-Lived Assets and Restructuring Expense

 

Impairments, net loss on sale of long-lived assets and restructuring expense was $31.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2003. During the year ended December 31, 2003, we sold approximately 300 non-core towers and certain other non-core assets and recorded impairment charges to write-down certain other non-core towers and assets. As a result, we recorded impairment charges and net loss on sale of long-lived assets of approximately $19.1 million. We also wrote-off approximately $9.2 million of construction-in-progress costs, primarily associated with sites we no longer planned to build. Lastly, we incurred employee separation costs (primarily associated with the reorganization of certain functions in our rental and management segment) and facility closing costs aggregating $3.4 million.

 

Impairments, net loss on sale of long-lived assets and restructuring expense was $101.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2002. During the year-ended December 31, 2002, we sold approximately 720 non-core towers and recorded impairment charges to write-down certain other non-core towers, which resulted in aggregate impairment charges and net losses of approximately $46.8 million. In September 2002, we reduced the scope of our new tower construction and build plans for the remainder of 2002 and 2003 and, as a result, we wrote-off approximately $40.2 million of construction-in-progress costs for the year ended December 31, 2002 associated with sites we no longer planned to build. Additionally, in the latter stages of 2001 and the first quarter of 2002, we announced a restructuring of our organization to include the centralization of certain operational and administrative functions. As a result of these initiatives, during the year ended December 31, 2002, we incurred employee separation costs associated with the termination of approximately 460 employees (primarily development and administrative), as well as costs associated with the termination of lease obligations and other incremental facility closing costs, aggregating $10.6 million.

 

Interest Income

 

Interest income for the year ended December 31, 2003 was $5.3 million, an increase of $1.8 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The increase resulted primarily from an increase in interest earned on restricted cash and investments, resulting principally from our 12.25% senior subordinated discount notes offering in January 2003 and, to a lesser extent, our August 2003 equity offering.

 

Interest Expense

 

Interest expense for the year ended December 31, 2003 was $279.9 million, an increase of $25.4 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The increase resulted primarily from the following: interest expense on our 12.25% senior subordinated discount notes, issued in January 2003; our 3.25% convertible notes, issued in August 2003; the ATI 7.25% senior subordinated notes, issued in November 2003. The increase was partially offset by a net decrease in interest expense on our credit facilities as a result of repayments made during 2003 and, to a lesser extent, lower interest rates. The increase was also partially offset by a decrease in interest expense on our 2.25% and 5.0% convertible notes as a result of repurchases made during 2003 (as discussed below).

 

 

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Loss on Retirement of Long-Term Obligations

 

During the year ended December 31, 2003, we amended our credit facilities and made certain prepayments and unscheduled principal payments on the term loans thereunder, which collectively reduced the borrowing capacity under our credit facilities. As a result, we recorded an aggregate charge of approximately $11.9 million related to the write-off of deferred financing fees associated with the reduction in our overall borrowing capacity. We also repurchased certain of our 2.25% convertible and 5.0% convertible notes (inclusive of the cash tender offer for our 2.25% convertible notes that expired on October 22, 2003) throughout the year. As a result, we incurred an aggregate charge of approximately $34.3 million, which primarily represented the fair market value of the shares of stock issued to our 2.25% convertible note holders in excess of the shares originally issuable upon conversion of the notes, offset by a net gain on the repurchases of our 5.0% convertible notes. The total of these charges, $46.2 million, represents our loss on retirement of long-term obligations for the year ended December 31, 2003.

 

In February 2002, we repaid $95.0 million outstanding under our Mexican credit facility with borrowings under our credit facilities. As a result of such repayment, for the year ended December 31, 2002, we expensed approximately $1.7 million of deferred financing fees. In addition, in January 2002, we terminated the $250.0 million multi-draw term loan C component of our credit facilities and recorded a non-cash charge of approximately $7.2 million related to the write-off of related deferred financing fees. The total of these charges, $8.9 million, represents our loss on retirement of long-term obligations for the year ended December 31, 2002.

 

Loss on Investments and Other Expense

 

Loss on investments and other expense for the year ended December 31, 2003 was $29.8 million, an increase of $4.3 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The increase resulted primarily from fees and expenses incurred in connection with a financing transaction that we did not consummate as a result of the ATI 12.25% senior subordinated discount notes offering. This increase was primarily offset by decreased foreign currency transaction losses. We recorded impairment charges on our cost and equity investments, as well as losses on our equity method investments, aggregating $21.2 million and $20.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2002, respectively.

 

Income Tax Benefit

 

The income tax benefit for the year ended December 31, 2003 was $66.1 million, a decrease of $1.6 million from the year ended December 31, 2002. The effective tax rate was 21.4% for the year ended December 31, 2003, as compared to 17.5% for the year ended December 31, 2002. The primary reason for the increase in the effective tax rate is a result of a $27.5 million valuation allowance that we recorded in 2002 in connection with our tax planning strategy to carry back approximately $380.0 million of federal net operating losses generated prior to 2003. This strategy resulted in the filing of tax refund claims with the IRS in 2003. In June 2003, we filed an income tax refund claim with the IRS relating to carrying back net operating losses that we generated in 1998, 1999 and 2001. We filed a similar claim in October 2003, with respect to net operating losses generated in 2002. We anticipate receiving a refund of approximately $90.0 million as a result of these claims, which will monetize a portion of our deferred tax asset. We estimate recovery of these amounts within one to three years of the dates the claims were filed with the IRS. There can be no assurances, however, with respect to the specific amount and timing of the refund. The valuation allowance represents the estimated lost tax benefit and costs incurred in connection with implementing this strategy. This increase was offset in part by an increase in the valuation allowance in 2003 for capital losses and non-deductible losses on retirements of our convertible notes.

 

The effective tax rate on loss from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2003 differs from the federal statutory rate due primarily to valuation allowances related to our capital losses, foreign items and non-deductible losses on retirements of our convertible notes. The effective tax rate on loss from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2002 differs from the federal statutory rate due primarily to valuation allowances related to our capital losses, foreign items and the valuation allowance recorded in connection with our tax planning strategy discussed above.

 

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SFAS No. 109, “Accounting for Income Taxes,” requires that we record a valuation allowance when it is “more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized.” At December 31, 2003, we have provided a valuation allowance of approximately $156.7 million primarily related to net state deferred tax assets, capital loss carryforwards and the lost tax benefit and costs associated with the tax refund claims. We have not provided a valuation allowance for the remaining deferred tax assets, primarily our tax refund claims and our federal net operating loss carryforwards, as management believes that we will be successful with our tax refund claims and will have sufficient time to realize these federal net operating loss carryforwards during the twenty-year tax carryforward period.

 

We intend to recover a portion of our deferred tax asset through our tax refund claims discussed above. The recoverability of our remaining net deferred tax asset has been assessed utilizing stable state (no growth) projections based on our current operations. The projections show a significant decrease in depreciation and interest expense in the later years of the carryforward period as a result of a significant portion of our assets being fully depreciated during the first fifteen years of the carryforward period and debt repayments reducing interest expense. Accordingly, the recoverability of our net deferred tax asset is not dependent on material improvements to operations, material asset sales or other non-routine transactions. Based on our current outlook of future taxable income during the carryforward period, management believes that our net deferred tax asset will be realized. The realization of our deferred tax assets as of December 31, 2003 will be dependent upon our ability to generate approximately $1.0 billion in taxable income from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2023. If we are unable to generate sufficient taxable income in the future, or carry back losses, as described below, we will be required to reduce our net deferred tax asset through a charge to income tax expense, which would result in a corresponding decrease in stockholders’ equity.

 

Loss from Discontinued Operations, Net

 

In December 2002, we committed to a plan to sell Verestar by December 31, 2003. In December 2003, Verestar filed for bankruptcy protection and ceased to be included in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. In August 2003, we consummated the sale of Galaxy. In June 2003, we committed to a plan to sell Kline by June 30, 2004. In May 2003, we consummated the sale of an office building in Westwood, Massachusetts. In February 2003, pursuant to our original plan to sell Verestar, we sold MTN, a subsidiary of Verestar. In January 2003, we sold Flash Technologies. In March 2003, we consummated the sale of an office building in Schaumburg, Illinois. In December 2002, we consummated the sale of the building in Boston, Massachusetts where we maintain our corporate headquarters. Finally, in July 2002, we consummated the sale of MTS Components. Accordingly, we have presented the results of these operations (including those of Verestar through the date of the bankruptcy filing), approximately $(12.5) million and $(245.2) million, net of tax, in loss from discontinued operations, net, in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations for the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2002, respectively.

 

In addition to the above, loss from discontinued operations, net, for the year ended December 31, 2003 includes the following: (a) an aggregate impairment charge of $26.5 million to reduce the carrying amount of our investment in Verestar to zero and to record our estimate of costs that we may incur under certain of Verestar’s contracts for which we are primarily or secondarily liable as a guarantor as of December 31, 2003; (b) an aggregate non-cash impairment charge of $14.6 million to reduce the carrying value of Kline’s net assets to the estimated proceeds expected upon disposal; (c) a $2.4 million net loss on the disposal of Galaxy; (d) a $3.6 million net loss on the disposal of the office building in Westwood, Massachusetts; (e) a $0.1 million net gain on the sale of Flash Technologies; and (f) a $0.1 million net loss on the sale of the office building in Schaumberg, Illinois. Loss from discontinued operations, net, for the year ended December 31, 2002 includes an aggregate net loss on our disposition of MTS Components and two office buildings of approximately $13.5 million.

 

As of December 31, 2003, the disposal of our Kline business was still a pending transaction. In March 2004, we sold substantially all the net assets of Kline and expect to sell the remaining assets by June 30, 2004.

 

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Cumulative Effective of Change in Accounting Principle, Net

 

As of January 1, 2002, we adopted the provisions of SFAS No. 142 “Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.” As a result, we recognized a $562.6 million non-cash charge (net of a tax benefit of $14.4 million) as the cumulative effect of change in accounting principle related to the write-down of goodwill to its fair value. The non-cash charge was comprised of goodwill within our former satellite and fiber network access services segment ($189.3 million) and network development services segment ($387.8 million). In accordance with the provisions of SFAS No. 142, the charge is reflected as of January 1, 2002 and included in our results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2002.

 

Years Ended December 31, 2002 and 2001

 

 

     Year Ended December 31,

   

Amount of

Increase

(Decrease)


   

Percent

Increase

(Decrease)


 
     2002

    2001

     
     (In thousands)  

REVENUES:

                              

Rental and management

   $ 544,906     $ 431,051     $ 113,855     26 %

Network development services

     130,176       223,926       (93,750 )   (42 )
    


 


 


     

Total revenues

     675,082       654,977       20,105     3  
    


 


 


     

OPERATING EXPENSES:

                              

Rental and management

     226,786       209,923       16,863     8  

Network development services

     118,591       199,568       (80,977 )   (41 )

Depreciation and amortization

     312,866       334,917       (22,051 )   (7 )

Corporate general, administrative and development expense

     30,229       34,310       (4,081 )   (12 )

Impairments, net loss on sale of long-lived assets and restructuring expense

     101,372       79,496       21,876     28  
    


 


 


     

Total operating expenses

     789,844       858,214       (68,370 )   (8 )
    


 


 


     

OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE):

                              

Interest income, TV Azteca, net

     13,938       14,377       (439 )   (3 )

Interest income

     3,496       28,372       (24,876 )   (88 )

Interest expense

     (254,446 )     (267,199 )     (12,753 )   (5 )

Loss on investments and other expense

     (25,559 )     (38,795 )     (13,236 )   (34 )

Loss on retirement of long-term obligations

     (8,869 )     (26,336 )     (17,467 )   (66 )

Minority interest in net earnings of subsidiaries

     (2,118 )     (318 )     1,800     566  

Income tax benefit

     67,783       102,032       (34,249 )   (34 )

Loss from discontinued operations, net

     (258,724 )     (58,990 )     199,734     339  

Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net

     (562,618 )             562,618     N/A  
    


 


 


     

Net loss

   $ (1,141,879 )   $ (450,094 )   $ 691,785     154 %
    


 


 


     

 

Total Revenues

 

Total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2002 were $675.1 million, an increase of $20.1 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The increase resulted from an increase in rental and management revenues of $113.9 million, offset by a decrease in network development services revenue of $93.8 million.

 

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Rental and Management Revenue

 

Rental and management revenue for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $544.9 million, an increase of $113.9 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The increase resulted primarily from leasing activity on towers acquired and constructed subsequent to January 1, 2001 and, to a lesser extent, increased revenue on towers that existed as of January 1, 2001. The 4,270 towers that we have acquired and constructed since January 1, 2001 have significantly increased our revenues. The increased depth and strength of our national and international portfolio provided us with a much larger base of tower revenue for a full year in 2002 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2001. The remaining component of the increase is attributable to an increase in same tower revenue related to towers included in our portfolio as of January 1, 2001. This increase was driven by our ability to market and add additional tenants to those towers.

 

Network Development Services Revenue

 

Network development services revenue for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $130.2 million, a decrease of $93.8 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The significant decline in revenues during 2002 resulted primarily from decreases in revenue related to construction management, installation and tower maintenance services, resulting from a corresponding decrease in the growth of the wireless telecommunications industry.

 

Total Operating Expenses

 

Total operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2002 were $789.8 million, a decrease of $68.4 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The principal component of the decrease was attributable to expense decreases in our network development services segment of $81.0 million. The remaining components of the decrease were attributable to a decrease in depreciation and amortization expense of $22.1 million and a decrease in corporate general, administrative and development expense of $4.1 million. These decreases were offset by increases in expenses within our rental and management segment of $16.9 million, coupled with an increase in impairments, net loss on sale of long-lived assets and restructuring expense of $21.9 million.

 

Rental and Management Expense/Segment Profit

 

Rental and management expense for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $226.8 million, an increase of $16.9 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The majority of the increase resulted from incremental operating expenses incurred in 2002 for the more than 3,700 towers that were acquired or constructed during 2001 (due to a full year of inclusion in our results of operations in 2002). The balance of the increase reflects operating expenses incurred in 2002 for the more than 570 towers acquired/constructed in 2002. These increases were partially offset by cost reduction efforts in administrative and operational functions.

 

Rental and management segment profit for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $332.1 million, an increase of $96.6 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The increase resulted primarily from incremental revenues and operating profit from both newly acquired and constructed towers and existing towers.

 

Network Development Services Expense/Segment Profit

 

Network development services expense for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $118.6 million, a decrease of $81.0 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The majority of the decrease was due to an overall decline in demand for the services performed by this segment, as discussed above, coupled with decreases in overhead and related infrastructure costs.

 

Network development services segment profit for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $11.6 million, a decrease of $12.8 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The decrease resulted primarily from a decline in revenue, as discussed above, partially offset by a reduction in personnel, overhead and infrastructure costs as a result of restructuring initiatives that were implemented in 2002 and 2001.

 

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Depreciation and Amortization

 

Depreciation and amortization for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $312.9 million, a decrease of $22.1 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The decrease reflects the adoption of SFAS No. 142, which reduced amortization expense by approximately $67.6 million. This decrease was partially offset by an increase in depreciation expense related to acquisitions and capital expenditures of approximately $236.9 million in 2002 and a full year of depreciation on the $1.4 billion of property and equipment acquired in 2001.

 

Corporate General, Administrative and Development Expense

 

Corporate general, administrative and development expense for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $30.2 million, a decrease of $4.1 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The decrease is attributable to cost reduction efforts in administrative and information technology functions related to our restructuring initiatives, as well as a reduction in development expense as a result of our curtailed acquisition and development related activities.

 

Impairments, Net Loss on Sale of Long-Lived Assets and Restructuring Expense

 

Impairments, net loss on sale of long-lived assets and restructuring expense was $101.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2002. During the year ended December 31, 2002, we sold approximately 720 non-core towers and recorded impairment charges to write-down certain other non-core towers, which resulted in aggregate impairment charges and net losses of approximately $46.8 million. In September 2002, we reduced the scope of our new tower construction and build plans for the remainder of 2002 and 2003 and, as a result, we wrote-off approximately $40.2 million of construction-in-progress costs for the year ended December 31, 2002 associated with sites we no longer planned to build. Lastly, during the year ended December 31, 2002, we incurred employee separation costs associated with the termination of approximately 460 employees (primarily development and administrative), as well as costs associated with the termination of lease obligations and other incremental facility closing costs aggregating $10.6 million.

 

Impairments, net loss on sale of long-lived assets and restructuring expense was $79.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2001. In November 2001, we announced a restructuring of our organization to include a reduction in the scope of our tower development and acquisition activities and the centralization of certain operational and administrative functions. This resulted in a significant decrease in new tower construction and more stringent criteria for evaluating tower construction and acquisitions. As a result, we wrote-off approximately $62.6 million of construction-in-progress costs for the year ended December 31, 2001 associated with sites we no longer planned to build. We also incurred impairment charges to write-down certain non-core towers of approximately $11.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2001. Lastly, we incurred employee separation costs associated with the termination of approximately 525 employees (primarily tower development and administrative), as well as facility closing costs, aggregating $5.2 million.

 

 

Interest Income

 

Interest income for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $3.5 million, a decrease of $24.9 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The decrease resulted primarily from a decrease in interest earned on invested cash primarily attributable to a decrease in cash on hand during 2002, coupled with lower interest rates.

 

Interest Expense

 

Interest expense for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $254.4 million, a decrease of $12.8 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The majority of the decrease, $26.6 million, resulted primarily from a reduction in the interest rates under our credit facilities. The decrease was partially offset by an increase of $7.6 million related to a full year of interest incurred on our 9 3/8% senior notes (issued in January 2001) and a reduction in capitalized interest as a result of our reduced capital expenditures in 2002.

 

 

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Loss on Investments and Other Expense

 

Loss on investments and other expense for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $25.6 million, a decrease of $13.2 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The decrease resulted primarily from decreased impairment and equity losses on our cost and equity investments, offset by increased losses on foreign currency exchange related to our Mexican subsidiary.

 

Loss from Retirement of Long-Term Obligations

 

In February 2002, we repaid all amounts outstanding under our Mexican credit facility with borrowings under our credit facility. As a result of such repayment, we expensed approximately $1.7 million of deferred financing fees. In addition, in January 2002, we terminated the $250.0 million multi-draw term loan C component of our credit facilities and recorded a non-cash charge of approximately $7.2 million related to the write-off of the related deferred financing fees. The aggregate of these charges, $8.9 million, represents our loss on retirement of long-term obligations for the year ended December 31, 2002.

 

During the year ended December 31, 2001, we acquired a portion of our 2.25% convertible notes in exchange for shares of our Class A common stock. As a consequence of those negotiated exchanges with certain of our noteholders, we recorded a loss on retirement of long-term obligations of $26.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2001. This non-cash charge represents the fair value of incremental stock issued to note holders to induce them to convert their holdings prior to the first scheduled redemption date.

 

Income Tax Benefit

 

The income tax benefit for the year ended December 31, 2002 was $67.8 million, a decrease of $34.2 million from the year ended December 31, 2001. The effective tax rate was 17.5% for the year ended December 31, 2002, as compared to 20.7% for the year ended December 31, 2001. The decrease in the effective tax rate was primarily attributable to a valuation allowance of $27.5 million that we recorded in 2002 in connection with our tax planning strategy to carry back certain federal net operating losses. The valuation allowance represents the estimated lost tax benefit and costs associated with implementing such strategy. This decrease is offset by the impact of our ceasing to amortize goodwill (the majority of which is non-deductible for tax purposes) in 2002 in connection with the adoption of SFAS No. 142.

 

The effective tax rate on loss from continuing operations in 2002 differs from the federal statutory rate primarily due to valuation allowances related to our capital losses, tax planning strategy (as discussed above) and foreign items. The effective tax rate in 2001 differs from the federal statutory rate due to valuation allowances related to capital losses and other non-deductible items consisting principally of goodwill amortization, and to a lesser extent, note conversion expense.

 

SFAS No. 109, “Accounting for Income Taxes,” requires that we record a valuation allowance when it is “more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized.” At December 31, 2002, we have provided a valuation allowance primarily related to state net operating loss carryforwards, capital loss carryforwards and the lost tax benefit and costs associated with our tax refund claims. We have not provided a valuation allowance for the remaining deferred tax assets, primarily federal net operating loss carryforwards, as management believes that we will have sufficient time to realize these assets during the twenty-year tax carryforward period.

 

We intend to recover a portion of our deferred tax asset through our tax planning strategy, which carries back certain federal net operating losses. The recoverability of our remaining net deferred tax asset has been assessed utilizing stable state (no growth) projections based on our current operations. The projections show a significant decrease in depreciation and interest expense in the later years of the carryforward period as a result of a significant portion of our assets being fully depreciated during the first fifteen years of the carryforward

 

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period and debt repayments reducing interest expense. Accordingly, the recoverability of our net deferred tax asset is not dependent on material improvements to operations, material asset sales or other non-routine transactions. Based on our current outlook of future taxable income during the carryforward period, management believes that our net deferred tax asset will be realized. The realization of our deferred tax assets as of December 31, 2002 will be dependent upon our ability to generate approximately $800.0 million in taxable income from January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2022. If we are unable to generate sufficient taxable income in the future, or carry back losses as described above, we will be required to reduce our net deferred tax asset through a charge to income tax expense, which would result in a corresponding decrease in stockholders’ equity.

 

Loss from Discontinued Operations, Net

 

In December 2002, we committed to a plan to dispose of our wholly owned subsidiary Verestar by sale by December 31, 2003. In the fourth quarter of 2002, we also committed to a plan to sell Flash Technologies and two office buildings held primarily as rental property. In July 2002, we consummated the sale of our MTS Components operations. In the first quarter of 2003, we committed to a plan to sell an office building in Westwood, Massachusetts held primarily as rental property. In the second quarter of 2003, we committed to a plan to sell Kline by June 30, 2004. In August 2003, we consummated the sale of Galaxy. Accordingly, we presented the results of these operations, approximately $(245.2) million and $(59.0) million, net of tax, in loss from discontinued operations, net, in the accompanying statements of operations for the years ended December 31, 2002 and 2001, respectively. Loss from discontinued operations, net, for the year ended December 31, 2002 also includes a net loss on our disposition of MTS Components and two office buildings of approximately $13.5 million, net of a tax benefit.

 

Cumulative Effective of Change in Accounting Principle, Net

 

As of January 1, 2002, we adopted the provisions of SFAS No. 142 “Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.” As a result, we recognized a $562.6 million non-cash charge (net of a tax benefit of $14.4 million) as the cumulative effect of change in accounting principle related to the write-down of goodwill to its fair value. The non-cash charge was comprised of goodwill within our former satellite and fiber network access services segment ($189.3 million) and network development services segment ($387.8 million). In accordance with the provisions of SFAS No. 142, the charge is reflected as of January 1, 2002 and included in our results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2002.

 

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Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

Overview

 

In 2003, we generated sufficient cash flow from operations to fund our capital expenditures and cash interest obligations. We believe cash flow from operations for the year ending December 31, 2004 also will be sufficient to fund our capital expenditures and our cash debt service (interest and principal repayments) obligations for 2004. For information about our outstanding indebtedness, see “—Contractual Obligations” below.

 

We expect our 2004 cash needs to consist primarily of the following: debt service, including cash interest of approximately $195.0 million, the repayment of approximately $75.8 million of term loans under our credit facilities and capital lease payments and other notes payable of $5.5 million; capital expenditures of between $50.0 and $65.0 million, principally related to new tower construction and improvements to existing towers; and tower acquisitions of approximately $31.4 million. We expect to meet these cash needs through a combination of cash on hand, cash generated by operations and proceeds from sales of non-core assets. Due to the risk factors outlined in “Business—Factors That May Affect Future Results,” however, there can be no assurance that we will be able to meet our cash needs without additional borrowings under our credit facilities.

 

As of December 31, 2003, we had total outstanding indebtedness of approximately $3.4 billion. We incurred substantially all of this indebtedness prior to 2002 in order to fund the acquisition of communications sites and services businesses (expenditures for such acquisitions for the years ended December 31, 2000 and 2001 were $1.4 billion and $812.8 million, respectively), and capital expenditures related to the construction of new communications sites (capital expenditures for the years ended December 31, 2000 and 2001 were $541.3 million and $568.2 million, respectively).

 

Beginning in 2002, we significantly reduced our acquisitions and new tower construction activities, and began to focus on reducing our overall indebtedness. In 2003, we continued this trend by reducing our net total indebtedness (the combined decrease in outstanding indebtedness and the increase in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and investments) by approximately $235.5 million. We also improved our financial flexibility by opportunistically refinancing approximately $1.0 billion of our indebtedness to extend maturity dates. We plan to continue to reduce our overall indebtedness in 2004 and beyond with cash flow from operations, and may opportunistically further reduce indebtedness and interest expense through future capital market or strategic transactions.

 

Uses of Cash

 

Tower Construction, Improvement and Acquisition. Historically, we have used available cash and proceeds from non-core asset sales, including cash obtained from our credit facilities and proceeds from the sale of our debt and equity securities, to fund the construction, improvement and acquisition of tower assets. In 2002, we began to reduce our capital expenditures on new tower development. As a result, we significantly reduced our capital expenditures on new tower development in 2003 from historical levels (for example, our capital expenditures, excluding acquisitions, were $61.6 million in 2003 as compared to $180.5 million and $568.2 million in 2002 and 2001, respectively), and we expect this trend to continue. Accordingly, we expect that our cash needs in 2004 for tower development, improvement and acquisition will be funded out of cash from operations and proceeds from asset dispositions.

 

  Construction and Improvements. Capital expenditures, excluding acquisitions, were approximately $61.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2003. We anticipate that we will build between 120 and 160 new towers through the end of 2004, and expect our 2004 total capital expenditures for construction and improvements to be between approximately $44.0 million and $58.0 million. In addition, we expect to incur approximately $6.0 to $7.0 million in capital expenditures relating to our services division and corporate infrastructure.

 

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  Acquisitions. During the year ended December 31, 2003, we acquired approximately $95.1 million in tower assets. As of December 31, 2003, we were obligated to make capital expenditures to acquire up to approximately $31.4 million of tower assets, of which approximately $10.3 million had been acquired as of March 5, 2004.

 

We plan to continue to allocate our available capital among investment alternatives that can provide the highest potential returns in light of existing market conditions. Accordingly, we may continue to acquire tower sites, build new tower sites and redevelop or improve existing tower sites when the expected returns on such investments meet our investment criteria.

 

Debt Service. As of December 31, 2003, we had outstanding debt of approximately $3.4 billion. For the year ending December 31, 2004, we are obligated to make a total of approximately $276.0 million in cash interest and principal payments on outstanding debt (this amount excludes approximately $82.0 million of non-cash interest expense relating to the accretion of our ATI 12.25% Notes and warrants and the amortization of deferred financing costs). Our cash debt service obligations as of December 31, 2003 are summarized under “—Contractual Obligations” below.

 

Contractual Obligations.

 

The following table sets forth information relating to our contractual obligations payable in cash as of December 31, 2003 (in thousands):

 

    Payments Due by Period

Contractual Obligations


  2004

  2005

  2006

  2007

  2008

  Thereafter

  Total

Credit facility term loan A (1)

  $ 73,056   $ 111,459   $ 133,578   $ 71,448               $ 389,541

Credit facility term loan B (1)(2)

    2,697     2,697     2,697     258,895                 266,986

Credit facility revolver (1)

                      48,189                 48,189

9 3/8% senior notes

                                $ 1,000,000     1,000,000

12.25% senior subordinated discount notes (3)

                          $ 808,000           808,000

7.25% senior subordinated notes

                                  400,000     400,000

5.0% convertible notes (4)(5)

                      349,413                 349,413

6.25% convertible notes (4)(5)

                212,742                       212,742

3.25% convertible notes

                                  210,000     210,000

2.25% convertible notes

    44                                   44
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long-term obligations, excluding capital leases and other notes payable

    75,797     114,156     349,017     727,945     808,000     1,610,000     3,684,915
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash interest expense (1)(2)(3)(5)

    195,000     184,000     172,000     136,000     130,000     103,000     920,000

Capital lease payments (including interest) and other notes payable

    5,548     4,635     19,233     3,355     3,215     208,645     244,631

Operating lease payments

    87,905     75,104     62,075     52,234     42,591     289,857     609,766

Purchase obligations for acquisitions

    31,400                                   31,400

Other long-term liabilities (6)

    1,069     322     329     337     345     3,551     5,953
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

  $ 396,719   $ 378,217   $ 602,654   $ 919,871   $ 984,151   $ 2,215,053   $ 5,496,665
   

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

A description of our contractual debt obligations is included in Item 7A. “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk,” as well as in note 7 to our consolidated financial statements.

 

(1) Interest on our credit facilities is payable in accordance with the applicable London Interbank Offering Rate (LIBOR) agreement or quarterly and accrues at our option, either at LIBOR plus margin (as defined) or the base rate plus margin (as defined). The weighted average interest rate in effect at December 31, 2003 for the credit facilities was 4.25%. For projections of our cash interest expense related to the credit facilities, we have assumed the LIBOR rate, before the margin as defined in our credit facility agreements, is 1.5% through December 31, 2007.
(2) In January 2004, we refinanced our $267.0 million term loan B with a new term loan C due December 31, 2007. The new term loan C has substantially the same terms as term loan B, except that the interest rate spreads for the LIBOR and base rate loans were reduced from 3.5% above LIBOR to 2.25% and from 2.5% above the base rate to 1.25%, respectively.

 

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(3) The 12.25% senior subordinated discount notes accrue no cash interest. Instead, the accreted value of each note increases between the date of original issuance and maturity (August 1, 2008) at a rate of 12.25% per annum, with principal due at maturity of $808.0 million. As of December 31, 2003, the outstanding debt under the 12.25% senior subordinated discount notes was $424.2 million accreted value, net of the allocated fair value of $44.2 million relating to warrants issued in conjunction with these notes.
(4) The holders of our 6.25% and 5.0% convertible notes have the right to require us to repurchase their notes on specified dates prior to their maturity dates in 2009 and 2010, but we may pay the purchase price by issuing shares of our Class A common stock, subject to certain conditions. The obligations with respect to the right of the holders to put the 6.25% convertible notes and 5.0% convertible notes on October 22, 2006 and February 20, 2007, respectively, have been classified as cash obligations in those respective periods.
(5) In February 2004, we sold $225.0 million principal amount of 7.50% senior notes due 2012 through an institutional private placement. The net proceeds of the offering were used to redeem all of our outstanding 6.25% convertible notes and to repurchase $4.5 million of our 5.0% convertible notes.
(6) Liabilities that are not payable in cash, primarily our unearned revenue and deferred rent liability, are not included.

 

The above table does not include certain commitments relating to the construction of tower sites under existing build to suit agreements as of December 31, 2003, as we cannot currently estimate the timing and amounts of such payments. (See note 9 to our consolidated financial statements.)

 

Sources of Cash

 

Total Liquidity at December 31, 2003. As of December 31, 2003, we had approximately $544.8 million of total liquidity, which is comprised of approximately $275.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and the ability to draw approximately $269.3 million of the revolving loan under our credit facilities. Of the approximately $275.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, approximately $170.0 million is held in restrictive accounts and approximately $49.1 million of this amount must be used to repay existing indebtedness.

 

Cash Generated by Operations. For the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001, our cash provided by operating activities was $156.4 million, $105.1 million and $26.1 million, respectively. Each of our rental and management and network development services segments are expected to generate cash flows from operations during 2004 in excess of their cash needs for operations and capital expenditures for tower construction, improvements and acquisitions. We expect to use the excess cash generated from these segments principally to service our debt.

 

Credit Facilities. As of December 31, 2003, we had approximately $269.3 million of unused capacity under our revolving credit facility, the only loan under our credit facilities that is not fully drawn. We have not borrowed any amounts under our credit facilities since April 2002, and we do not anticipate borrowing any amounts under the revolving credit facility during 2004. In February 2004, we made a $21.0 million voluntary prepayment of term loan A under our credit facilities.

 

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Proceeds from the Sale of Debt and Equity Securities. During 2003, we raised approximately $1.1 billion in net proceeds from the sale of debt and equity securities as follows:

 

Date


  

Transaction


  

Approximate Net
Proceeds


January 2003   

ATI 12.25% Senior Subordinated Discount Notes due 2008

  

$397.0 million

August 2003   

$210.0 million 3.25% Convertible Notes due 2010

14,260,000 Shares of Class A common stock

  

$202.8 million

$120.3 million

November 2003   

$400.0 million ATI 7.25% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2011

  

$389.3 million

 

The net proceeds from these offerings were used to repay approximately $961.3 million of existing indebtedness, and approximately $170.0 million remains in restricted cash and investments at December 31, 2003. In addition, during 2003 we issued 8,415,984 shares of our Class A common stock in exchange for an aggregate amount of approximately $53.1 million accreted value ($67.2 million face value) of our 2.25% convertible notes. These exchanges were effected in privately negotiated transactions pursuant to Section 3(a)(9) under the Securities Act of 1933.

 

In February 2004, we raised an additional approximately $221.7 million of net proceeds through an institutional private placement of our 7.50% senior notes due 2012. Approximately $217.1 million of the net proceeds from this offering were used to redeem all of our outstanding 6.25% convertible notes due 2009, and $4.5 million of those proceeds were used to repurchase our 5.0% convertible notes. (See note 19 to our consolidated financial statements.)

 

Divestiture Proceeds. During 2003, we continued to execute our strategy of divesting non-core assets and reinvesting the proceeds of such divestitures in higher return tower assets. From January 1, 2003 to March 5, 2004, we received net proceeds of approximately $123.9 million from non-core asset sales related to the sale of our remaining components business, two office buildings, a Verestar subsidiary, Galaxy, Kline, and non-core towers and related assets. Proceeds from these and any future transactions have and will be used, to the extent permitted under our credit facilities and mortgages, to acquire additional tower assets and to service debt. We anticipate receiving approximately $10.0 million of proceeds from additional sales of non-core assets during 2004.

 

Factors Affecting Sources of Liquidity

 

Internally Generated Funds. The key factors affecting our ability to generate sufficient funds from operations are the demand for antennae space on wireless and broadcast communications towers and for related services, our ability to maximize the utilization of our existing towers and our ability to minimize costs and fully achieve our operating efficiencies.

 

Restrictions Under Credit Facilities and Other Debt Securities. The credit facilities with our borrower subsidiaries contain certain financial ratios and operating covenants and other restrictions (including limitations on additional debt, guarantees, use of proceeds from asset sales, dividends and other distributions, investments and liens) with which our borrower subsidiaries and restricted subsidiaries must comply.

 

The credit facilities contain five financial tests with which we must comply:

 

  a leverage ratio (Total Debt to Annualized Operating Cash Flow). As of December 31, 2003, we were required to maintain a ratio of not greater than 5.75 to 1.00, decreasing to 5.50 to 1.00 at January 1, 2004, to 5.25 to 1.00 at April 1, 2004, to 5.00 to 1.00 at July 1, 2004, to 4.75 to 1.00 at October 1, 2004, to 4.50 to 1.00 at January 1, 2005, to 4.25 to 1.00 at April 1, 2005 and to 4.00 to 1.00 at July 1, 2005 and thereafter;

 

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  a senior leverage ratio (Senior Debt to Annualized Operating Cash Flow). As of December 31, 2003, we were required to maintain a ratio of not greater than 4.25 to 1.00, decreasing to 4.00 to 1.00 at January 1, 2004, to 3.75 to 1.00 at April 1, 2004, to 3.50 to 1.00 at July 1, 2004, to 3.25 to 1.00 at October 1, 2004 and to 3.00 to 1.00 at January 1, 2005 and thereafter;

 

  a pro forma debt service test (Annualized Operating Cash Flow to Pro Forma Debt Service). As of December 31, 2003, we were required to maintain a ratio of not less than 1.00 to 1.00;

 

  an interest coverage test (Annualized Operating Cash Flow to Interest Expense). As of December 31, 2003, we were required to maintain a ratio of not less than 2.50 to 1.00, increasing to 3.00 to 1.00 at January 1, 2004; and

 

  a fixed charge coverage test (Annualized Operating Cash Flow to Fixed Charges ). As of December 31, 2003, we were required to maintain a ratio of not less than 1.00 to 1.00.

 

Any failure to comply with these covenants would not only prevent us from being able to borrow additional funds under our revolving line of credit, but would also constitute a default. These covenants also restrict our ability, as the parent company, to incur any debt other than that currently outstanding and refinancings of that debt. The credit facilities also limit our revolving loan drawdowns based on our cash on hand.

 

In addition to the credit facilities, the indentures governing the terms of the ATI 12.25% Notes and the ATI 7.25% Notes contain certain restrictive covenants with which ATI, the sister guarantors and its and their subsidiaries must comply. These include restrictions on their ability to incur additional debt, guarantee debt, pay dividends and make other distributions, make certain investments and, as in the credit facilities, use the proceeds from asset sales. Any failure to comply with these covenants would constitute a default. Specifically, the indentures restrict ATI, each of the sister guarantors and its and their restricted subsidiaries from incurring additional debt or issuing certain types of preferred stock. ATI, the sister guarantors and its and their subsidiaries are permitted, however, to incur debt under our credit facilities, or renewals, refundings, replacements or refinancings of them, up to $1.6 billion.

 

The indentures governing the terms of our 9 3/8% senior notes and our 7.50% senior notes (issued in February 2004) also contain certain restrictive covenants with which we and our restricted subsidiaries must comply. These include restrictions on our ability to incur additional debt, guarantee debt, pay dividends and make other distributions, make certain investments and, as in the credit facilities, use the proceeds from asset sales. Any failure to comply with these covenants would constitute a default. Specifically, the senior note indentures restrict us from incurring additional debt or issuing certain types of preferred stock unless our consolidated debt is not greater than 7.5 times our adjusted consolidated cash flow. We are permitted, however, to incur debt under our credit facilities (which for these purposes includes indebtedness under the credit facilities of our borrower subsidiaries, the ATI 12.25% Notes, the ATI 7.25% Notes and a portion of our 3.25% convertible notes) even if we are not in compliance with this ratio, or renewals, refundings, replacements or refinancings of our credit facilities.

 

If a default occurred under our credit facilities or any of our other debt securities, the maturity dates for our outstanding debt could be accelerated, and we likely would be prohibited from making additional borrowings under the credit facilities until we cured the default. If this were to occur, we would not have sufficient cash on hand to repay such indebtedness. The key factors affecting our ability to comply with the debt covenants described above are our financial performance relative to the financial ratios defined in the various agreements and our ability to fund our debt service obligations. Based upon our current expectations, we believe our operating results will be sufficient to comply with these covenants. However, due to the risk factors outlined above in “Business—Factors That May Affect Future Results,” there can be no assurance that our financial performance will not deteriorate to a point that would result in a default.

 

As outlined above, as of December 31, 2003, our annual consolidated cash debt service obligations (principal and interest) for each of the next five years and thereafter are approximately: $276.0 million, $303.0 million, $540.0 million (which does not reflect the repurchase of our 6.25% convertible notes in February 2004),

 

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$867.0 million, $941.0 million and $1.9 billion, respectively. If we are unable to refinance our subsidiary debt or renegotiate the terms of such debt, we may not be able to meet our debt service requirements in the future. In addition, as a holding company, we depend on distributions or dividends from our subsidiaries, or funds raised through debt and equity offerings, to fund our debt obligations. Although the agreements governing the terms of our credit facilities and senior subordinated notes permit our subsidiaries to make distributions to us to permit us to meet our debt service obligations, such terms also significantly limit their ability to distribute cash to us under certain circumstances. Accordingly, if we do not receive sufficient funds from our subsidiaries to meet our debt service obligations, we may be required to refinance or renegotiate the terms of our debt, and there is no assurance we will succeed in such efforts.

 

Our ability to make scheduled payments of principal and interest on our debt obligations, and our ability to refinance such debt obligations, will depend on our future financial performance, which is subject to many factors beyond our control, as outlined above under “Business – Factors That May Affect Future Results.” In addition, our ability to refinance any of our debt in the future may depend on our credit ratings from commercial rating agencies, which are dependent on our expected financial performance, the liquidity factors discussed above, and the rating agencies’ outlook for our industry. We expect that we will need to refinance a substantial portion or our debt on or prior to its scheduled maturity in the future. There can be no assurance that we will be able to secure such refinancings or, if such refinancings are obtained, that the terms will be commercially reasonable.

 

Capital Markets. Our ability to raise additional funds in the capital markets depends on, among other things, general economic conditions, conditions of the wireless industry, our financial performance and the state of the capital markets. In December 2003, we filed a “universal” shelf registration statement for possible future offerings of an aggregate of up to $1.0 billion of debt and/or equity securities, including the offering of Class A common stock pursuant to a direct stock purchase plan with respect to which our Board of Directors currently has approved a $150.0 million offering. This registration statement is not yet effective.

 

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

 

Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations are based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, as well as related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities. We evaluate our policies and estimates on an ongoing basis, including those related to income taxes, impairment of assets, allowances for accounts receivable, investment impairment charges and revenue recognition. Management bases its estimates on historical experience and various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

 

We have identified the following policies as critical to our business operations and the understanding of our results of operations. This is not a comprehensive list of our accounting policies. In many cases, the accounting treatment of a particular transaction is specifically dictated by generally accepted accounting principles, with no need for management’s judgment in its application. There are also areas in which management’s judgment in selecting any available alternative would not produce a materially different result. For a discussion of our other accounting policies, see note 1 to the consolidated financial statements in this annual report on Form 10-K, beginning on page F-7.

 

 

Income Taxes.    We record a valuation allowance to reduce our net deferred tax asset to the amount that management believes is more likely than not to be realized. At December 31, 2003, we provided a valuation allowance of approximately $156.7 million primarily related to our net state deferred tax assets and capital loss carryforwards. In addition, we also recorded a valuation allowance in 2002

 

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related to a tax planning strategy related to the carry back of certain federal net operating losses. The valuation allowance represents the estimated lost tax benefit and costs associated with such strategy. We have not provided a valuation allowance for the remaining deferred tax assets, primarily our tax refund claims and our federal net operating loss carryforwards, as management believes that we will be successful with our tax refund claims and have sufficient time to realize these federal net operating loss carryforwards during the twenty-year tax carryforward period.

 

We intend to recover a portion of our net deferred tax asset through our tax refund claims related to certain federal net operating losses, filed during 2003 as part of a tax planning strategy implemented in 2002. The recoverability of our remaining net deferred tax asset has been assessed utilizing stable state (no growth) projections based on our current operations. The projections show a significant decrease in depreciation and interest expense in the later years of the carryforward period as a result of a significant portion of our assets being fully depreciated during the first fifteen years of the carryforward period and debt repayments reducing interest expense. Accordingly, the recoverability of our net deferred tax asset is not dependent on material improvements to operations, material asset sales or other non-routine transactions. Based on our current outlook of future taxable income during the carryforward period, management believes that our net deferred tax asset will be realized. The realization of our deferred tax assets will be dependent upon our ability to generate approximately $1.0 billion in taxable income from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2023. If we are unable to generate sufficient taxable income in the future or carry back losses as described above, we will be required to reduce our net deferred tax asset through a charge to income tax expense, which would result in a corresponding decrease in stockholders equity.

 

Depending on the resolution of the Verestar bankruptcy proceedings described in note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, we may be entitled to a worthless stock or bad debt deduction for our investment in Verestar. No income tax benefit has been provided for these potential deductions due to the uncertainty surrounding the bankruptcy proceedings.

 

  Impairment of Assets.

 

Assets subject to amortization and non-core assets held for sale:  We review long-lived assets, including intangibles, for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. We assess recoverability by determining whether the net book value of the related assets will be recovered through projected undiscounted cash flows. If we determine that the carrying value of an asset may not be recoverable, we will measure any impairment based on the projected future discounted cash flows to be provided from the asset or available market information relative to the asset’s fair market value as compared to its carrying value. We record any related impairment losses in the period in which we identify such impairment. We also review the carrying value of assets held for sale for impairment based on management’s best estimate of the anticipated net proceeds expected to be received upon final disposition. We record any impairment charges or estimated losses on disposal in the period in which we identify such impairment or loss.

 

Goodwill—Assets not subject to amortization:  As of January 1, 2002, we adopted the provisions of SFAS No. 142 “Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets,” which requires that goodwill and intangible assets with indefinite lives no longer be amortized, but reviewed for impairment at least annually. SFAS No. 142 also requires that we assess whether goodwill is impaired by performing a transitional impairment test. These tests compared the implied fair value of the reporting unit’s goodwill with the carrying amount of that goodwill to measure the amount of goodwill impairment, if any. We completed our transitional impairment testing in the second quarter of 2002 and concluded that all of the goodwill related to Verestar was impaired and that the majority of the goodwill in the services segment was impaired. As a result, we recognized a $562.6 million non-cash charge (net of a tax benefit of $14.4 million) related to the write-down of goodwill to its fair value. In accordance with the provisions of SFAS No. 142, the charge is reflected as of January 1, 2002 and included in the results of operations

 

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for the year ended December 31, 2002 as the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle. Fair value estimates were determined based on independent third party appraisals for the rental and management segment and Verestar and future discounted cash flows and market information in the services segment.

 

In December 2003 and 2002, we completed our annual impairment testing related to the goodwill of the rental and management reporting unit (incorporating an independent third party appraisal) that contains goodwill and, in both cases, determined that goodwill was not impaired. Fair value estimates are based on our historical and projected operating results and market information, changes to which could affect those fair value estimates. Our December 2002 annual impairment testing also included the remaining goodwill of Kline (the only services business with remaining goodwill) and, based on available market information, we determined that goodwill was not impaired. In June 2003, we committed to a plan to sell Kline, reclassified its net assets to assets held for sale and recorded an impairment charge (inclusive of Kline’s remaining $10.3 million of goodwill) that reduced Kline’s net assets to the estimated fair value expected upon disposal.

 

We will perform our annual goodwill impairment test on December 1st of each year and when events or circumstances indicate that the asset might be impaired.

 

  Allowances for Accounts Receivable. We maintain allowances for accounts receivable for estimated losses resulting from the inability of our customers to make contractually obligated payments that totals approximately $17.4 million as of December 31, 2003. When evaluating the adequacy of the allowances for accounts receivable, we specifically analyze accounts receivable and historical bad debts, customer concentrations, current economic trends, changes in our customers’ payment terms and the age of the receivables. If the basis for our estimates and financial condition of our customers were to change, adjustments to the allowances may be required.

 

  Investment Impairment Charges.    Investments in those entities where we own less than twenty percent of the voting stock of the individual entity and do not exercise significant influence over operating and financial policies of the entity are accounted for using the cost method. Investments in entities where we own less than twenty percent but have the ability to exercise significant influence over operating and financial policies of the entity or where we own more than twenty percent of the voting stock of the individual entity, but not in excess of fifty percent, are accounted for using the equity method. Our investments are in companies that are not publicly traded, and, therefore, no established market for these securities exists. We have a policy in place to review the fair value of our investments on a regular basis to evaluate the carrying value of the investments in these companies. If we believe that the carrying value of an investment is carried at an amount in excess of fair value, it is our policy to record an impairment charge to adjust the carrying value to the market value.

 

  Revenue Recognition.    A portion of our network development services revenue is derived under contracts or arrangements with customers that provide for billings on a fixed price basis. Revenues under these contracts are recognized using the percentage-of-completion methodology. Under the percentage-of-completion methodology, revenues are recognized in accordance with the percentage of contract costs incurred to date compared to the estimated total contract costs. Due to uncertainties and estimates inherent within percentage-of-completion accounting it is possible that estimates will be revised as project work progresses. Changes to total estimated contract costs or losses, if any, are recognized in the period in which they are determined.

 

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Recent Accounting Pronouncements

 

In January 2003 and December 2003, the FASB issued Interpretation No. 46, “Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities” (FIN 46), and its revision, FIN 46-R, respectively. FIN 46 and FIN 46-R addresses the consolidation of entities whose equity holders have either not provided sufficient equity at risk to allow the entity to finance its own activities or do not possess certain characteristics of a controlling financial interest. FIN 46 and FIN 46-R require the consolidation of these entities, known as variable interest entities (VIEs), by the primary beneficiary of the entity. The primary beneficiary is the entity, if any, that is subject to a majority of the risk of loss from the VIE’s activities, entitled to receive a majority of the VIE’s residual returns, or both. FIN 46 and FIN 46-R are applicable for financial statements of public entities that have interests in VIEs or potential VIEs referred to as special purpose entities for periods ending after December 15, 2003, of which we had none. Application by public entities for all other types of entities is required in financial statements for periods ending after March 15, 2004. We have applied the provisions of FIN 46 and the adoption was not material to our consolidated financial position and results of operations. We continue to evaluate our investments to determine which, if any, will be impacted by the adoption of FIN 46-R. The adoption of FIN 46-R is not expected to have a material impact on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.

 

Information Presented Pursuant to the Indenture of Our 9 3/8% Notes

 

The following table sets forth information that is presented solely to address certain reporting requirements contained in the indenture for our 9 3/8% Notes. This information presents certain of our financial data on a consolidated basis and on a restricted group basis, as defined in the indenture governing the senior notes. All of our subsidiaries are part of the restricted group, except our wholly owned subsidiary Verestar. In December 2002, we committed to a plan to dispose of Verestar by sale by December 31, 2003. In December 2003, Verestar filed for protection under the federal bankruptcy laws and ceased to be included in the accompanying consolidated financial statements from the filing date forward. Accordingly, the results of operations related to Verestar have been included in loss from discontinued operations in our accompanying consolidated statements of operations through the date of the bankruptcy filing in December 2003.

 

     Consolidated

    Restricted Group

 
     Year Ended December 31,

    Year Ended December 31,

 
     2003

    2002

    2003

    2002

 
     (In thousands)  

Operating revenues

   $ 715,144     $ 675,082     $ 715,144     $ 675,082  
    


 


 


 


Total operating expenses

     683,655       789,844       683,655       789,844  

Total other expense

     340,117       273,558       340,117       273,558  
    


 


 


 


Loss from continuing operations before income taxes

     (308,628 )     (388,320 )     (308,628 )     (388,320 )

Income tax benefit

     66,137       67,783       66,137       67,783  
    


 


 


 


Loss from continuing operations before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle

     (242,491 )     (320,537 )     (242,491 )     (320,537 )

Loss from discontinued operations, net of tax

     (60,926 )     (258,724 )     (26,464 )     (17,149 )
    


 


 


 


Loss before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle

   $ (303,417 )   $ (579,261 )   $ (268,955 )   $ (337,686 )
    


 


 


 


 

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Information Presented Pursuant to the Indentures of Our 9 3/8% Notes, ATI 12.25% Notes and ATI 7.25% Notes

 

The following table sets forth information that is presented solely to address certain tower cash flow reporting requirements contained in the indentures for our 9 3/8% Notes and our ATI 12.25% Notes and ATI 7.25% Notes. The information contained in note 20 to our consolidated financial statements is also presented to address certain reporting requirements contained in the indentures for our ATI 12.25% Notes and ATI 7.25% Notes.

 

Tower Cash Flow, Adjusted Consolidated Cash Flow and Non-Tower Cash Flow for the Company and its restricted subsidiaries, as defined in the indentures for our 9 3/8% Notes, ATI 12.25% Notes and ATI 7.25% Notes, are as follows (in thousands):

 

     9 3/8%
Notes


   

ATI 12.25%
Notes and
ATI 7.25%

Notes


 

Tower Cash Flow, for the three months ended December 31, 2003

   $ 109,730     $ 108,255  
    


 


Consolidated Cash Flow, for the twelve months ended
December 31, 2003

   $ 396,459     $ 390,401  

Less: Tower Cash Flow, for the twelve months ended
December 31, 2003

     (411,195 )     (405,159 )

Plus: four times Tower Cash Flow, for the three months ended December 31, 2003

     438,920       433,020  
    


 


Adjusted Consolidated Cash Flow, for the twelve months ended
December 31, 2003

   $ 424,184     $ 418,262  
    


 


Non-Tower Cash Flow, for the twelve months ended
December 31, 2003

   $ (17,757 )   $ (18,499 )
    


 


 

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ITEM 7A.    QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

We are exposed to market risk from changes in interest rates on long-term debt obligations. We attempt to reduce these risks by utilizing derivative financial instruments, namely interest rate caps, swaps, and collars pursuant to our policies. All derivative financial instruments are for purposes other than trading. For the year ended December 31, 2003, we prepaid $757.8 million of outstanding borrowings under our credit facilities and made scheduled principal payments under the term loans of $47.5 million. In addition, we issued $420.0 million of ATI 12.25% Notes with a principal at maturity of $808.0 million, $210.0 million of 3.25% Notes and $400.0 million of ATI 7.25% Notes. We also had two swaps and two collars expire with aggregate notional amounts totaling $400.0 million and $232.5 million, respectively.

 

The following tables provide information as of December 31, 2003 and 2002 about our market risk exposure associated with changing interest rates. For long-term debt obligations, the tables present principal cash flows by maturity date and average interest rates related to outstanding obligations. For interest rate caps, swaps and collars, the tables present notional principal amounts and weighted-average interest rates by contractual maturity dates.

 

As of December 31, 2003

Principal Payments and Interest Rate Detail by Contractual Maturity Dates (In thousands)

 

Long-Term Debt


   2004

    2005

    2006

    2007

    2008

    Thereafter

    Total

  

Fair

Value


Fixed Rate Debt (a)

   $ 1,869     $ 1,288     $ 228,776     $ 349,621     $ 808,043     $ 1,650,760     $ 3,040,357    $ 2,885,194

Average Interest Rate (a)

     8.69 %     8.85 %     9.07 %     9.99 %     9.54 %     6.68 %             

Variable Rate Debt (a)

   $ 75,753     $ 114,156     $ 136,275     $ 378,532                     $ 704,716    $ 703,781

Average Interest Rate (a)

                                                             

 

Aggregate Notional Amounts Associated with Interest Rate Caps in Place

As of December 31, 2003 and Interest Rate Detail by Contractual Maturity Dates (In thousands)

 

Interest Rate CAPS


   2004

    2005

   2006

   2007

   2008

   Thereafter

   Total

   Fair
Value


Notional Amount

   $ 500,000 (c)                                  

Cap Rate (b)

     5.00 %                                  

 

As of December 31, 2002

Principal Payments and Interest Rate Detail by Contractual Maturity Dates (In thousands)

 

Long-Term Debt


   2003

    2004

    2005

    2006

    2007

    Thereafter

    Total

   Fair
Value


Fixed Rate Debt (a)

   $ 213,858     $ 2,791     $ 1,405     $ 229,025     $ 450,012     $ 1,041,423     $ 1,938,514    $ 1,467,892

Average Interest Rate (a)

     7.82 %     7.82 %     7.82 %     8.04 %     9.35 %     9.35 %             

Variable Rate Debt (a)

   $ 56,000     $ 192,000     $ 243,000     $ 321,500     $ 697,500             $ 1,510,000    $ 1,510,000

Average Interest Rate (a)

                                                             

 

Aggregate Notional Amounts Associated with Interest Rate Caps, Swaps and Collars in Place

As of December 31, 2002 and Interest Rate Detail by Contractual Maturity Dates (In thousands)

 

     2003

     2004

     2005

   2006

   2007

   Thereafter

   Total

   Fair
Value


 

Interest Rate CAPS


                                                   

Notional Amount

   $ 500,000      $ 500,000 (c)                             $ 150  

Cap Rate (b)

     5.00 %      5.00 %                                  

Interest Rate SWAPS


                                                   

Notional Amount

   $ 400,000 (d)                                      $ (10,383 )

Weighted-Average Fixed Rate Payable (b)

     5.59 %                                           

Interest Rate COLLARS


                                                   

Notional Amount

   $ 232,500 (e)                                      $ (5,307 )

Weighted-Average Below Floor Rate Payable, Above Cap Rate Receivable (b)

     5.96%, 8.18 %                                           

 

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(a) As of December 31, 2003, variable rate debt consists of our credit facilities ($704.7 million) and fixed rate debt consists of: the 2.25% Notes ($0.1 million); the 6.25% Notes ($212.7 million); the 5.0% Notes ($349.4 million); the 3.25% Notes ($210.0 million); the ATI 7.25% Notes ($400.0 million); the ATI 12.25% Notes ($808.0 million principal amount due at maturity; the balance as of December 31, 2003 is $424.2 million accreted value, net of the allocated fair value of the related warrants of $44.2 million); the 9 3/8% Notes ($1.0 billion); and other debt of $60.2 million. Interest on the credit facilities is payable in accordance with the applicable London Interbank Offering Rate (LIBOR) agreement or quarterly and accrues at our option either at LIBOR plus margin (as defined) or the base rate plus margin (as defined). The weighted average interest rate in effect at December 31, 2003 for the credit facilities was 4.25%. For the year ended December 31, 2003, the weighted average interest rate under the credit facilities was 3.85%. The 2.25% and 6.25% Notes each bear interest (after giving effect to the accretion of the original discount on the 2.25% Notes) at 6.25% per annum, which is payable semiannually on April 15 and October 15 of each year. The 5.0% Notes bear interest at 5.0% per annum, which is payable semiannually on February 15 and August 15 of each year. The ATI 12.25% Notes bear interest (after giving effect to the accretion of the original discount and the accretion of the warrants) at 14.7% per annum, payable upon maturity. The 9 3/8% Notes bear interest at 9 3/8% per annum, which is payable semiannually on February 1 and August 1 of each year. The 3.25% Notes bear interest at 3.25% per annum, which is payable semiannually on February 1 and August 1 of each year. The ATI 7.25% Notes bear interest at 7.25% per annum, which is payable semiannually on June 1 and December 1 of each year. Other debt consists of notes payable, capital leases and other obligations bearing interest at rates ranging from 7.9% to 12.0%, payable monthly. In January 2004, we refinanced our $267.0 million term loan B under our credit facilities, with a new term loan C due December 31, 2007. The new term loan C has substantially the same terms as term loan B, except that the interest rate spreads for the LIBOR and base rate loans were reduced from 3.5% above LIBOR to 2.25% and from 2.5% above the base rate to 1.25%, respectively. In February 2004, we sold $225.0 million principal amount of 7.50% senior notes due 2012 through an institutional private placement. The net proceeds of the offering were approximately $221.7 million and were used to redeem all of our outstanding 6.25% Notes and to repurchase $4.5 million of our outstanding 5.0% Notes.

 

As of December 31, 2002 variable rate debt consists of our credit facilities ($1.51 billion) and fixed rate debt consists of the 2.25% Notes ($210.9 million), the 6.25% Notes ($212.7 million), the 5.0% Notes ($450.0 million), the 9 3/8% Notes ($1.0 billion) and other debt of $64.9 million. Interest on the credit facilities is payable in accordance with the applicable London Interbank Offering Rate (LIBOR) agreement or quarterly and accrues at our option either at LIBOR plus margin (as defined) or the base rate plus margin (as defined). The average interest rate in effect at December 31, 2002 for the credit facilities was 4.48%. For the year ended December 31, 2002, the weighted average interest rate under the credit facilities was 4.41%. The 2.25% and 6.25% Notes each bear interest (after giving effect to the accretion of the original discount on the 2.25% Notes) at 6.25% per annum, which is payable semiannually on April 15 and October 15 of each year. The 5.0% Notes bear interest at 5.0% per annum, which is payable semiannually on February 15 and August 15 of each year. The 9 3/8% Notes bear interest at 9 3/8% per annum, which is payable semiannually on February 1 and August 1 of each year beginning August 1, 2001. Other debt consists of notes payable, capital leases and other obligations bearing interest at rates ranging from 7.1% to 12.0%, payable monthly.

(b) Represents the weighted-average fixed rate or range of interest based on contract notional amount as a percentage of total notional amounts in a given year.
(c) Includes notional amounts of $125,000, $250,000 and $125,000 that will expire in May, June and July 2004, respectively.
(d) Includes notional amounts of $215,000 and $185,000 that expired in February and November 2003, respectively.
(e) Includes notional amounts of $185,000 and $47,500 that expired in May and June 2003, respectively.

 

We maintain a portion of our cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and investments in short-term financial instruments that are subject to interest rate risks. Due to the relatively short duration of such instruments, we believe fluctuations in interest rates with respect to those investments will not materially affect our financial condition or results of operations.

 

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Our foreign operations include rental and management segment divisions in Mexico and Brazil. The remeasurement loss (gain) for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001 approximated $1,142,000 $3,713,000 and $(207,000), respectively.

 

ITEM 8.    FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

See Item 15(a).

 

ITEM 9.    CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND

                      FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

None.

 

ITEM 9A.    CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

We have established disclosure controls and procedures to ensure that material information relating to us, including our consolidated subsidiaries, is made known to the officers who certify our financial reports and to other members of senior management and the Board of Directors.

 

(a) Evaluation of disclosure controls and procedures. Our management, with the participation of our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, has evaluated the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) as of the end of the period covered by this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Based on this evaluation, our principal executive officer and principal financial officer concluded that these disclosure controls and procedures are effective and designed to ensure that the information required to be disclosed in our reports filed or submitted under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the requisite time periods.

 

(b) Changes in internal controls. There was no change in our internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) identified in connection with the evaluation of our internal control performed during our last fiscal quarter that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

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PART III

 

ITEM 10.    DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

 

Our executive officers and their respective ages and positions as of March 5, 2004 are set forth below:

 

James D. Taiclet, Jr.    43    Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
J. Michael Gearon, Jr.    38    Vice Chairman and President, American Tower International
Bradley E. Singer    37    Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Steven J. Moskowitz    40    Executive Vice President and President, U.S. Tower Division
William H. Hess    40    Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Timothy F. Allen    35    Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller

 

James D. Taiclet, Jr. is our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Taiclet joined us in September 2001 as President and Chief Operating Officer, was named our Chief Executive Officer in October 2003, was elected as a director in November 2003, and was named our Chairman in February 2004. Prior to joining us, Mr. Taiclet had been President of Honeywell Aerospace Services, a part of Honeywell International, since March 1999. Mr. Taiclet was with United Technologies from March 1996 until March 1999, serving as Vice President, Pratt & Whitney Engine Services. Mr. Taiclet received a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University, where he was a Wilson Fellow, and is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy.

 

J. Michael Gearon, Jr. is our Vice Chairman and President, American Tower International, and was a director from the time of our acquisition of Gearon Communications in January 1998 until May 2003. From January 1998 until January 2002, Mr. Gearon served as an Executive Vice President. Prior to joining us, Mr. Gearon had been the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gearon Communications since September 1991. Mr. Gearon currently serves as a director of TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V. Mr. Gearon is a graduate of Georgia State University.

 

Bradley E. Singer is our Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Mr. Singer joined us in September 2000 as Executive Vice President, Strategy, and was appointed Vice President and General Manager of the Southeast Region in November 2000, positions he held until July 2001. He was appointed Executive Vice President, Finance in July 2001, and appointed to his current position in December 2001. Prior to joining us, Mr. Singer was an investment banker focusing on the telecommunications industry with Goldman, Sachs & Co., which he joined in 1997. Mr. Singer received an M.B.A. degree from Harvard University, and is a graduate of the University of Virginia.

 

Steven J. Moskowitz is our Executive Vice President and President, U.S. Tower Division. Mr. Moskowitz joined us in January 1998, initially as a Vice President and General Manager of our Northeast Region, and was appointed Executive Vice President, Marketing, and Vice President and General Manager of our Northeast Region in March 1999. He was named Executive Vice President, U.S. Tower Division in January 2002 and named President of the U.S. Tower Division in October 2003. Prior to joining us, Mr. Moskowitz had served as a Vice President of The Katz Media Group, the largest broadcast media representation firm in the United States, since 1989. Mr. Moskowitz received his undergraduate degree from Temple University.

 

William H. Hess is our Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Mr. Hess joined us in 2001 as Chief Financial Officer of American Tower International, and was appointed Executive Vice President in May 2001. Mr. Hess was appointed to his current position in September 2002. Prior to joining us, Mr. Hess had been a partner with the law firm of King & Spalding, LLP, which he joined in 1990. Mr. Hess received a J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University Law School, and is a graduate of Harding University.

 

46


Table of Contents

Timothy F. Allen is our Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller. Mr. Allen joined us in February 1999 as Manager of Financial Reporting and was appointed Vice President of Finance in February 2002. Mr. Allen was appointed to his current position in April 2003. Prior to joining us, Mr. Allen was a senior manager with the accounting firm of KPMG LLP. Mr. Allen is a graduate of Providence College.

 

The information under “Election of Directors” and “Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance” from the Definitive Proxy Statement is hereby incorporated by reference herein. Information required by this item pursuant to Item 401(h) and 401(i) of Regulation S-K relating to our audit committee financial experts and identification of the audit committee of our board of directors is contained in the Definitive Proxy Statement under “Corporate Governance” and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Information regarding our code of ethics applicable to our principal executive officer, our principal financial officer, our controller and other senior financial officers appears in Item 1 of this report. See “Business—Available Information.”

 

ITEM 11.    EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

The information under “Compensation and Other Information Concerning Directors and Officers” from the Definitive Proxy Statement is hereby incorporated by reference.

 

ITEM 12.    SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT

AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

The information under “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” and “Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans” from the Definitive Proxy Statement is hereby incorporated by reference herein.

 

ITEM 13.    CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS

 

The information under “Certain Relationships and Related Transactions” from the Definitive Proxy Statement is hereby incorporated by reference herein.

 

ITEM 14.    PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

 

The information under “Independent Auditor Fees and Other Matters” from the Definitive Proxy Statement is hereby incorporated by reference herein.

 

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Table of Contents

PART IV

 

ITEM 15.    EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES, AND REPORTS ON FORM 8-K

 

(a)  Financial Statements and Schedules.    See Index to Consolidated Financial Statements, which appears on page F-1 hereof. All schedules are omitted because they are not applicable or because the required information is contained in the consolidated financial statements or notes included in this annual report on Form 10-K.

 

(b)  Reports on Form 8-K.

 

Form 8-K (Items 5 and 7) filed on October 3, 2003.

Form 8-K (Items 5 and 7) filed on October 10, 2003.

Form 8-K (Items 5 and 7) filed on October 23, 2003.

Form 8-K (Items 5, 7 and 12) filed on October 30, 2003.

Form 8-K (Items 5 and 7) filed on November 4, 2003.

Form 8-K (Items 5 and 7) filed on December 18, 2003.

Form 8-K (Items 5 and 7) filed on December 23, 2003.

 

(c)  Exhibits.    The exhibits listed on the Exhibit Index hereof are filed herewith in response to this Item.

 

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SIGNATURES

 

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized on the 12th day of March 2004.

 

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION

By:

 

/s/    JAMES D. TAICLET, Jr.        


   

James D. Taiclet, Jr.

Chairman, President and

Chief Executive Officer

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been duly signed below by the following persons on behalf of the Registrant and in the capacities and on the dates indicated.

 

Signature


  

Title


 

Date


/s/    JAMES D. TAICLET, Jr.        


James D. Taiclet, Jr.

  

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer (Principal Executive Officer)

  March 12, 2004

/s/    BRADLEY E. SINGER        


Bradley E. Singer

  

Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer (Principal Financial Officer)

  March 12, 2004

/s/    TIMOTHY F. ALLEN        


Timothy F. Allen

  

Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller (Principal Accounting Officer)

  March 12, 2004

/s/    RAYMOND P. DOLAN        


Raymond P. Dolan

  

Director

  March 12, 2004

/s/    CAROLYN F. KATZ        


Carolyn F. Katz

  

Director

  March 12, 2004

/s/    FRED R. LUMMIS        


Fred R. Lummis

  

Director

  March 12, 2004

/s/    PAMELA D.A. REEVE        


Pamela D. A. Reeve

  

Director

  March 12, 2004

/s/    MARY AGNES WILDEROTTER        


Mary Agnes Wilderotter

  

Director

  March 12, 2004

 

 

49


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AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION

 

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

     Page

Independent Auditors’ Report

   F-2

Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2003 and 2002

   F-3

Consolidated Statements of Operations for the Years Ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001

   F-4

Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity for the Years Ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001

   F-5

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001

   F-6

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

   F-7

 

F-1


Table of Contents

INDEPENDENT AUDITORS’ REPORT

 

To the Board of Directors of

American Tower Corporation:

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of American Tower Corporation and subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2003 and 2002, and the related consolidated statements of operations, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2003. These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audits.

 

We conducted our audits in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

In our opinion, such consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2003 and 2002, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2003 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

As discussed in notes 1 and 8 to the consolidated financial statements, in 2001 the Company adopted the provisions of Statement of Financial Accounting Standard No. 133, “Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities,” as amended. Also, as discussed in notes 1 and 5 to the consolidated financial statements, in 2002 the Company adopted Statement of Financial Accounting Standard No. 142, “Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.”

 

/s/    DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP

 

Boston, Massachusetts

March 12, 2004

 

F-2


Table of Contents

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

December 31, 2003 and 2002

(In thousands, except share data)

 

     2003

    2002

 

ASSETS

                

CURRENT ASSETS:

                

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 105,465     $ 127,292  

Restricted cash and investments

     170,036          

Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts

     57,735       64,889  

Prepaid and other current assets

     34,105       49,324  

Costs and earnings in excess of billings on uncompleted contracts and unbilled receivables

     19,933       21,955  

Deferred income taxes

     14,122       13,111  

Assets held for sale

     10,119       314,205  
    


 


Total current assets

     411,515       590,776  
    


 


PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT, net

     2,546,525       2,694,999  

OTHER INTANGIBLE ASSETS, net

     1,057,077       1,138,318  

GOODWILL, net

     592,683       592,683  

DEFERRED INCOME TAXES

     449,180       383,431  

NOTES RECEIVABLE AND OTHER LONG-TERM ASSETS

     275,508       261,996  
    


 


TOTAL

   $ 5,332,488     $ 5,662,203  
    


 


LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

                

CURRENT LIABILITIES:

                

Accounts payable and accrued expenses

   $ 107,557     $ 113,380  

Accrued interest

     59,734       63,611  

Current portion of long-term obligations

     77,622       269,858  

Billings in excess of costs on uncompleted contracts and unearned revenue

     41,449       38,733  

Liabilities held for sale

     8,416       200,696  
    


 


Total current liabilities

     294,778       686,278  
    


 


LONG-TERM OBLIGATIONS

     3,283,603       3,178,656  

OTHER LONG-TERM LIABILITIES

     23,961       41,379  
    


 


Total liabilities

     3,602,342       3,906,313  
    


 


COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

                

MINORITY INTEREST IN SUBSIDIARIES

     18,599       15,567  

STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY:

                

Preferred Stock: $.01 par value; 20,000,000 shares authorized; no shares issued or outstanding

                

Class A Common Stock: $.01 par value; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 211,855,658 and 185,643,625 shares issued, 211,710,437 and 185,499,028 shares outstanding, respectively

     2,119       1,856  

Class B Common Stock: $.01 par value; 50,000,000 shares authorized; 6,969,529 and 7,917,070 shares issued and outstanding, respectively

     70       79  

Class C Common Stock: $.01 par value; 10,000,000 shares authorized; 1,224,914 and 2,267,813 shares issued and outstanding, respectively

     12       23  

Additional paid-in capital

     3,910,879       3,642,019  

Accumulated deficit

     (2,190,447 )     (1,887,030 )

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

             (5,564 )

Note receivable

     (6,720 )     (6,720 )

Treasury stock (145,221 and 144,597 shares at cost)

     (4,366 )     (4,340 )
    


 


Total stockholders’ equity

     1,711,547       1,740,323  
    


 


TOTAL

   $ 5,332,488     $ 5,662,203  
    


 


 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

F-3


Table of Contents

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

Years Ended December 31, 2003, 2002, and 2001

(In thousands, except per share data)

 

     2003

    2002

    2001

 

REVENUES:

                        

Rental and management

   $ 619,697     $ 544,906     $ 431,051  

Network development services

     95,447       130,176       223,926  
    


 


 


Total operating revenues

     715,144       675,082       654,977  
    


 


 


OPERATING EXPENSES:

                        

Rental and management

     222,724       226,786       209,923  

Network development services

     88,943       118,591       199,568  

Depreciation and amortization

     313,465       312,866       334,917  

Corporate general, administrative and development expense

     26,867       30,229       34,310  

Impairments, net loss on sale of long-lived assets and restructuring expense

     31,656       101,372       79,496  
    


 


 


Total operating expenses

     683,655       789,844       858,214  
    


 


 


OPERATING INCOME (LOSS) FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS

     31,489       (114,762 )     (203,237 )
    


 


 


OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE):

                        

Interest income, TV Azteca, net of interest expense of $1,496, $1,494 and $1,160, respectively

     14,222       13,938       14,377  

Interest income

     5,255       3,496       28,372  

Interest expense

     (279,875 )     (254,446 )     (267,199 )

Loss on retirement of long-term obligations

     (46,197 )     (8,869 )     (26,336 )

Loss on investments and other expense

     (29,819 )     (25,559 )     (38,795 )

Minority interest in net earnings of subsidiaries

     (3,703 )     (2,118 )     (318 )
    


 


 


Total other expense

     (340,117 )     (273,558 )     (289,899 )
    


 


 


LOSS FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS BEFORE INCOME TAXES

     (308,628 )     (388,320 )     (493,136 )

INCOME TAX BENEFIT

     66,137       67,783       102,032  
    


 


 


LOSS FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS BEFORE CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF CHANGE IN ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLE

     (242,491 )     (320,537 )     (391,104 )

LOSS FROM DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS, NET OF INCOME TAX BENEFIT OF $12,034, $30,531 AND $14,755, RESPECTIVELY

     (60,926 )     (258,724 )     (58,990 )
    


 


 


LOSS BEFORE CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF CHANGE IN ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLE

     (303,417 )     (579,261 )     (450,094 )
    


 


 


CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF CHANGE IN ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLE, NET OF INCOME TAX BENEFIT OF $14,438

             (562,618 )        
    


 


 


NET LOSS

   $ (303,417 )   $ (1,141,879 )   $ (450,094 )
    


 


 


BASIC AND DILUTED LOSS PER COMMON SHARE AMOUNTS:

                        

Loss from continuing operations before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle

   $ (1.17 )   $ (1.64 )   $ (2.04 )

Loss from discontinued operations

     (0.29 )     (1.32 )     (0.31 )

Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle

             (2.88 )        
    


 


 


NET LOSS PER COMMON SHARE

   $ (1.46 )   $ (5.84 )   $ (2.35 )
    


 


 


WEIGHTED AVERAGE COMMON SHARES OUTSTANDING

     208,098       195,454       191,586  
    


 


 


 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

F-4


Table of Contents

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

Years Ended December 31, 2003, 2002, and 2001

(In thousands, except share data)

 

    Common Stock

  Common Stock

    Common Stock

                Note
Receivable


   

Additional

Paid-in
Capital


  Accumulated
Other Compre
hensive Loss


    Accumulated
Deficit


    Total
Stockholders’
Equity


    Total
Comprehensive
Loss


 
    Class A

  Class B

    Class C

    Treasury Stock

             
    Issued
Shares


  Amount

  Issued
Shares


    Amount

    Issued
Shares


    Amount

    Shares

    Amount

             

BALANCE, JANUARY 1, 2001

  170,180,549   $ 1,701   8,095,005     $ 81     2,267,813     $ 23     (144,597 )   $ (4,340 )           $ 3,174,622           $ (295,057 )   $ 2,877,030          

2.25% convertible notes exchanged for common stock

  3,962,537     40                                                       86,403                     86,443          

Issuance of common stock - January offering and March transaction

  10,100,000     101                                                       363,150                     363,251          

Issuance of common stock, options, and warrants - mergers

  377,394     4                                                       8,454                     8,458          

Issuance of common stock - Employee Stock Purchase Plan

  231,257     2                                                       2,750                     2,752          

Issuance of note to executive officer (secured by class A common stock)

                                                      $ (6,720 )                           (6,720 )        

Stock option activity

  217,658     2                                                       3,130                     3,132          

Share class exchanges

  93,236     1   (93,236 )     (1 )                                                                          

Net change in fair value of cash flow hedges, net of tax

                                                                    $ (17,506 )             (17,506 )   $ (17,506 )

Reclassification adjustment for realized losses on derivative instruments, net of tax

                                                                      9,405               9,405       9,405  

Cumulative effect adjustment recorded upon adoption of SFAS No. 133, net of tax

                                                                      (7,852 )             (7,852 )     (7,852 )

Foreign currency translation adjustment

                                                                      (104 )             (104 )     (104 )

Tax benefit of stock options

                                                                1,001                     1,001          

Net loss

                                                                              (450,094 )     (450,094 )     (450,094 )
                                                                                             


Total comprehensive loss

                                                                                            $ (466,151 )
   
 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

 


 


 


 


BALANCE, DECEMBER 31, 2001

  185,162,631   $ 1,851   8,001,769     $ 80     2,267,813     $ 23     (144,597 )   $ (4,340 )   $ (6,720 )   $ 3,639,510   $ (16,057 )   $ (745,151 )   $ 2,869,196          
   
 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

 


 


 


       

Issuance of common stock - Employee Stock Purchase Plan

  396,295     4                                                       2,509                     2,513          

Share class exchanges

  84,699     1   (84,699 )     (1 )                                                                          

Net change in fair value of cash flow hedges, net of tax

                                                                      (9,138 )             (9,138 )     (9,138 )

Reclassification adjustment for realized losses on derivative instruments, net of tax

                                                                      19,527               19,527       19,527  

Foreign currency translation adjustment

                                                                      104               104       104  

Net loss

                                                                              (1,141,879 )     (1,141,879 )     (1,141,879 )
                                                                                             


Total comprehensive loss

                                                                                            $ (1,131,386 )
   
 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

 


 


 


 


BALANCE, DECEMBER 31, 2002

  185,643,625   $ 1,856   7,917,070     $ 79     2,267,813     $ 23     (144,597 )   $ (4,340 )   $ (6,720 )   $ 3,642,019   $ (5,564 )   $ (1,887,030 )   $ 1,740,323          
   
 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

 


 


 


       

Issuance of common stock - August offering

  14,260,000     143                                                       120,200                     120,343          

2.25% convertible notes exchanged for common stock

  8,415,984     84                                                       86,045                     86,129          

12.25% senior subordinated discount notes - Warrants

                                                                52,525                     52,525          

Issuance of common stock - Employee Stock Purchase Plan

  200,287     2                                                       959                     961          

Share class exchanges

  1,990,440     20   (947,541 )     (9 )   (1,042,899 )     (11 )                                                            

Stock option activity

  1,345,322     14                                                       7,859                     7,873          

Treasury stock transaction

                                        (624 )     (26 )                                   (26 )        

Net change in fair value of cash flow hedges, net of tax

                                                                      (329 )             (329 )     (329 )

Reclassification adjustment for realized losses on derivative instruments, net of tax

                                                                      5,893               5,893       5,893  

Tax benefit of stock options

                                                                1,272                     1,272          

Net loss

                                                                              (303,417 )     (303,417 )     (303,417 )
                                                                                             


Total comprehensive loss

                                                                                            $ (297,853 )
   
 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

 


 


 


 


BALANCE, DECEMBER 31, 2003

  211,855,658   $ 2,119   6,969,529     $ 70     1,224,914     $ 12     (145,221 )   $ (4,366 )   $ (6,720 )   $ 3,910,879   $        $ (2,190,447 )   $ 1,711,547          
   
 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

 


 


 


       

 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

F-5


Table of Contents

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

Years Ended December 31, 2003, 2002, and 2001

(In thousands)

 

     2003

    2002

    2001

 

CASH FLOWS PROVIDED BY OPERATING ACTIVITIES:

                        

Net loss

   $ (303,417 )   $ (1,141,879 )   $ (450,094 )

Adjustments to reconcile net loss to cash provided by operating activities:

                        

Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle, net

             562,618          

Depreciation and amortization

     313,465       312,866       334,917  

Minority interest in net earnings of subsidiaries

     3,703       2,118       318  

Loss on investments and other non-cash expense

     20,525       20,286       36,784  

Impairments, net loss on sale of long-lived assets and non-cash restructuring expense

     29,400       90,734       74,260  

Loss on retirement of long-term obligations

     46,197       8,869       26,336  

Amortization of deferred financing costs

     14,608       11,972       11,959  

Provision for losses on accounts receivable

     21,940       15,654       15,057  

Amortization of debt and note receivable discount

     60,987       6,194       7,286  

Deferred income taxes

     (66,137 )     (70,930 )     (105,656 )

Non-cash items reported in discontinued operations (primarily depreciation, asset impairments and net losses on dispositions)

     50,385       262,612       92,845  

Changes in assets and liabilities, net of acquisitions and dispositions:

                        

Accounts receivable

     (3,649 )     23,621       (11,132 )

Prepaid and other current assets

     (17,503 )     9,853       (47,322 )

Costs and earnings in excess of billings on uncompleted contracts and unbilled receivables

     5,595       19,136       (2,801 )

Accounts payable and accrued expenses

     312       (26,124 )     1,793  

Accrued interest

     (4,363 )     4,647       27,784  

Billings in excess of costs and earnings on uncompleted contracts and unearned revenue

     (3,139 )     (5,684 )     (3,291 )

Other long-term liabilities

     (12,523 )     (1,414 )     17,027  
    


 


 


Cash provided by operating activities

     156,386       105,149       26,070  
    


 


 


CASH FLOWS USED FOR INVESTING ACTIVITIES:

                        

Payments for purchase of property and equipment and construction activities

     (61,608 )     (180,497 )     (568,158 )

Payments for acquisitions, net of cash acquired

     (95,077 )     (56,361 )     (812,782 )

Proceeds from (advances of) notes receivable, net

     6,946       5,068       (3,824 )

Proceeds from sales of businesses and other long-term assets

     110,753       109,353       1,680  

Distributions to minority interest

     (671 )     (488 )     (763 )

Deposits, investments and other long-term assets

     (16,353 )     7,668       (61,456 )
    


 


 


Cash used for investing activities

     (56,010 )     (115,257 )     (1,445,303 )
    


 


 


CASH FLOWS (USED FOR) PROVIDED BY FINANCING ACTIVITIES:

                        

Proceeds from issuance of debt securities and notes payable

     1,032,384               1,000,000  

Net proceeds from equity offerings, stock options and employee stock purchase plan

     126,847       1,305       366,671  

Borrowings under credit facilities

             160,000       181,500  

Repayment of notes payable, credit facilities and capital leases

     (1,071,956 )     (148,270 )     (81,133 )

Restricted cash and investments

     (170,036 )     94,071       (48,035 )

Deferred financing costs and other financing activities

     (39,442 )     (5,664 )     (45,850 )
    


 


 


Cash (used for) provided by financing activities

     (122,203 )     101,442       1,373,153  
    


 


 


NET (DECREASE) INCREASE IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS

     (21,827 )     91,334       (46,080 )

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS, BEGINNING OF YEAR

     127,292       35,958       82,038  
    


 


 


CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS, END OF YEAR

   $ 105,465     $ 127,292     $ 35,958  
    


 


 


 

See notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

F-6


Table of Contents

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

1.    BUSINESS AND SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

 

Business—American Tower Corporation and subsidiaries (collectively, ATC or the Company), is an independent owner, operator and developer of wireless and broadcast communications sites in the United States, Mexico and Brazil. The Company’s primary business, as discussed in note 16, is the leasing of antenna space on multi-tenant communications towers to wireless service providers and radio and television broadcast companies. The Company also provides network development services to wireless service providers and broadcasters. During 2003 and 2002, the Company sold or committed to sell certain non-core businesses, which have been reported as discontinued operations. (See note 2.)

 

Principles of Consolidation and Basis of Presentation—The accompanying consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and its subsidiaries. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated. The Company consolidates those entities in which it owns greater than fifty percent of the entity’s voting stock, with the exception of its wholly owned subsidiary, Verestar, Inc. (Verestar), as discussed in note 2.

 

Use of Estimates—The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Actual results may differ from those estimates, and such differences could be material to the accompanying consolidated financial statements. The significant estimates in the accompanying consolidated financial statements include revenue recognition under the percentage of completion method, impairment of cost and equity investments, impairment of long-lived assets (including goodwill), allowances for accounts receivable and valuation allowances related to deferred tax assets.

 

Revenue Recognition—Rental and management revenues are recognized on a monthly basis under lease or management agreements when earned. Fixed escalation clauses present in non-cancelable lease agreements, excluding those tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and other incentives present in lease agreements with the Company’s customers are recognized on a straight-line basis over the terms of the applicable leases. Straight-line revenues for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001 approximated $22,944,000, $25,725,000 and $22,653,000, respectively. Amounts billed up-front for certain services provided in connection with the execution of lease agreements are initially deferred and recognized as revenue over the terms of the applicable leases. Amounts billed or received prior to being earned are deferred and reflected in unearned revenue in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets until such time as the earnings process is complete.

 

Network development service revenues are derived under contracts or arrangements with customers that provide for billings on a time and materials, cost plus profit or fixed price basis. Revenues are recognized as services are performed with respect to the time and materials and cost plus profit contracts. Revenues are recognized using the percentage-of-completion method for fixed price contracts. Under the percentage-of-completion methodology, revenues are recognized in accordance with the percentage of contract costs incurred to date compared to estimated total contract costs. Costs and earnings in excess of billings on uncompleted contracts represent revenues recognized in excess of amounts billed. Billings in excess of costs and earnings on uncompleted contracts represent billings in excess of revenues recognized. Changes to total estimated contract costs or losses, if any, are recognized in the period in which they are determined.

 

Corporate General, Administrative and Development Expense—Corporate general and administrative expense consists of corporate overhead costs not specifically allocable to any of the Company’s individual business segments. Development expense consists of uncapitalized acquisition costs, costs to integrate acquisitions, costs associated with new business initiatives, abandoned acquisition costs and costs associated with tower site inspections and related data gathering.

 

F-7


Table of Contents

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

 

Loss on Retirement of Long-Term Obligations—Loss on retirement of long-term obligations primarily includes non-cash charges related to the write-off of deferred financing fees as well as non-cash charges related to the fair value of incremental stock issued to induce convertible noteholders to convert their holdings prior to the scheduled redemption date. Such amounts are expensed as incurred in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standard (SFAS) No. 84 “Induced Conversions of Convertible Debt.” (See note 7.) Loss on retirement of long-term obligations also includes gains from repurchasing certain of the Company’s debt obligations.

 

Concentrations of Credit Risk—Financial instruments that potentially subject the Company to concentrations of credit risk are primarily cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and investments, notes receivable, trade receivables and derivative instruments. The Company mitigates its risk with respect to cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and investments and derivative instruments by maintaining its deposits and contracts at high quality financial institutions and monitoring the credit ratings of those institutions.

 

The Company mitigates its concentrations of credit risk with respect to notes and trade receivables by actively monitoring the credit worthiness of its borrowers and customers. Accounts receivable are reported net of allowances of $17,445,000, $16,041,000 and $23,804,000 as of December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001, respectively. Net amounts charged against allowances, net of recoveries, for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001 approximated $20,536,000, $17,111,000 and $6,159,000, respectively. The effect of reclassifications to discontinued operations impacted the comparability of the allowances for the year ended December 31, 2002 and 2001 by $(6,306,000) and $(4,903,000), respectively.

 

Discount on Convertible and Senior Subordinated Discount Notes—The Company amortizes the discount on its convertible and senior subordinated discount notes (including the allocated fair value of the related warrants) using the effective interest method over the term of the obligation. Such amortization is recorded as interest expense in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. (See note 7.)

 

Derivative Financial Instruments—On January 1, 2001, the Company adopted the provisions of SFAS No. 133 “Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities,” as amended. The cumulative effect of adopting this statement resulted in a charge to other comprehensive loss of $7.9 million (net of a tax benefit of $4.2 million) as of January 1, 2001.

 

The Company is exposed to interest rate risk relating to variable interest rates on its credit facilities. During the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001, as part of its overall strategy to manage the level of exposure to the risk of interest rate fluctuations under its variable rate credit facilities, the Company used interest rate swaps, caps and collars, which qualify and are designated as cash flow hedges. For derivative instruments that are designated and qualify as a cash flow hedge, the effective portion of the gain or loss on the derivative instrument is initially reported as a component of other comprehensive loss and subsequently reclassified into the statement of operations when the hedged transaction affects operations. The ineffective portion of the gain or loss on the derivative instrument is immediately recognized in the statement of operations. For derivative instruments not designated as hedging instruments, the gain or loss is recognized in the statement of operations in the period of change. The Company does not hold derivative financial instruments for trading purposes. As of December 31, 2003, the Company did not have any derivative instruments designated as cash flow hedges and managed its interest rate risk solely with interest rate caps (See note 8.)

 

Foreign Currency Translation—The functional currency of the Company’s foreign subsidiaries in Mexico and Brazil is the U.S. dollar. Monetary assets and liabilities related to the Company’s Mexican and Brazilian operations are remeasured from the local currency into U.S. dollars at the rate of currency exchange at the end of

 

F-8


Table of Contents

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

 

the applicable fiscal period. Non-monetary assets and liabilities are remeasured at historical exchange rates. Revenues and expenses are remeasured at average monthly exchange rates. All remeasurement gains and losses are included in the Company’s consolidated statement of operations within the caption loss on investments and other expense. The remeasurement loss (gain) for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001 approximated $1,142,000, $3,713,000 and $(207,000), respectively.

 

Cash and Cash Equivalents—Cash and cash equivalents include cash on hand, demand deposits and short-term investments with remaining maturities (when purchased) of three months or less.

 

Restricted Cash and Investments—As of December 31, 2003, restricted cash and investments represented amounts required to be held in escrow to pay, repurchase, redeem or retire certain of the Company’s outstanding debt. The amounts in these restricted accounts include $49.1 million of remaining net proceeds from the January 2003 12.25% senior subordinated discount notes (ATI 12.25% Notes) offering and $120.9 million of net proceeds from the Company’s August 2003 equity offering. Any amounts remaining on June 30, 2004 from the ATI 12.25% Notes must be used to prepay a portion of the term loans under the Company’s credit facilities. Prior to January 2004, the Company’s credit facilities required that any amounts remaining from the August 2003 equity offering be contributed to the borrower subsidiaries under the credit facilities. In January 2004, the Company amended the credit facilities to permit these proceeds to remain in this restricted account indefinitely. (See note 19.)

 

Inventories—Inventories, which consist of finished goods parts to be utilized in the Company’s services business, are stated at the lower of cost or market, with cost being determined on the first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis. As of December 31, 2003 and 2002, inventories were approximately $3.2 million and $4.9 million, respectively, and are included in prepaid and other current assets in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.

 

Property and Equipment—Property and equipment are recorded at cost or at estimated fair value (in the case of acquired properties). Cost for self-constructed towers includes direct materials and labor, indirect costs associated with construction and capitalized interest. Approximately $672,000, $5,835,000 and $15,321,000 of interest was capitalized for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001, respectively.

 

Depreciation is provided using the straight-line method over the assets’ estimated useful lives. Property and equipment acquired through capitalized leases are amortized using the straight-line method over the shorter of the lease term or the estimated useful life of the asset. Asset useful lives are as follows:

 

Equipment

   3-15 years

Towers

   15 years

Buildings

   32 years

Building and land improvements

   15-32 years

 

Expenditures for repairs and maintenance are expensed as incurred. Betterments and improvements that extend an asset’s useful life or enhance capacity are capitalized.

 

Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets—In June 2001, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued SFAS No. 142, “Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.” The Company adopted the provisions of SFAS No. 142 as of January 1, 2002. SFAS No. 142 requires that goodwill and intangible assets with indefinite lives no longer be amortized, but reviewed for impairment at least annually. Intangible assets that are deemed to have a definite life continue to be amortized over their useful lives. The cumulative effect of adopting this statement resulted in a non-cash charge of $562.6 million (net of a tax benefit of $14.4 million), which is included in the results of

 

F-9


Table of Contents

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

 

operations for the year ended December 31, 2002 as the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle. The adoption of this statement reduced the Company’s amortization expense in continuing operations by approximately $67.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2002. (See note 5.)

 

Income Taxes—The consolidated financial statements reflect provisions for federal, state, local and foreign income taxes. The Company recognizes deferred tax assets and liabilities for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases, as well as operating loss and tax credit carryforwards. The Company measures deferred tax assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences and carryforwards are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date. The Company provides valuation allowances if, based on the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. (See note 12.)

 

Loss per Common Share—Basic and diluted net loss per common share has been computed by dividing the Company’s net loss by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period. For the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001, potential common shares, including options, warrants and shares issuable upon conversion of the Company’s convertible notes, have been excluded from the computation of diluted loss per common share, as their effect is anti-dilutive. Potential common shares excluded from the calculation of net loss per share were approximately 65.6 million, 50.6 million and 46.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001, respectively.

 

Impairments and Net Loss on Sale of Long-Lived Assets—The Company reviews long-lived assets, including intangibles with definite lives, for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. The Company assesses recoverability by determining whether the net book value of the related assets will be recovered, either through projected undiscounted future cash flows (with respect to operating assets), or anticipated proceeds from sales (with respect to non-core assets that are designated for sale). If the Company determines that the carrying value of an asset may not be recoverable, it measures any impairment based on the projected future discounted cash flows to be provided from the asset or the estimated sale proceeds, as compared to the asset’s carrying value. The Company records impairment losses in the period in which it identifies such impairments. (See note 11.)

 

Notes Receivable and Other Long-Term Assets—Other long-term assets primarily represent the Company’s notes receivable described in note 6, deferred rent asset associated with the straight-lining of non-cancelable leases that contain fixed escalation clauses over the terms of the applicable leases, as well as certain cost and equity investments and long-term deposits.

 

Investments in those entities where the Company owns less than twenty percent of the voting stock of the individual entity and does not exercise significant influence over operating and financial policies of the entity are accounted for using the cost method. Investments in entities where the Company owns less than twenty percent but has the ability to exercise significant influence over operating and financial policies of the entity or where the Company owns more than twenty percent of the voting stock of the individual entity, but not in excess of fifty percent, are accounted for using the equity method. As of December 31, 2003 and 2002, the Company’s investments were in companies that are not publicly traded, and, therefore, no established market for their securities exists. The Company has a policy in place to review the fair value of its investments on a regular basis to evaluate the carrying value of the investments in these companies. If the Company believes that the carrying value of an investment is in excess of fair market value, it is the Company’s policy to record an impairment charge to adjust the carrying value to fair market value.

 

F-10


Table of Contents

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

 

During the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001, the Company recorded impairment charges on its cost and equity investments of approximately $19.3 million, $11.3 million and $27.7 million, respectively. In addition, during the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001, the Company recorded losses on equity method investments of approximately $1.9 million, $9.0 million and $9.1 million, respectively. Losses on equity method investments are recorded in accordance with Emerging Issues Task Force No. 99-10 “Percentage Used to Determine the Amount of Equity Method Losses.”

 

Stock-Based Compensation—In December 2002, the FASB issued SFAS No. 148, “Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation—Transition and Disclosure—an amendment of SFAS No. 123,” which provides optional transition guidance for those companies electing to voluntarily adopt the accounting provisions of SFAS No. 123. The Company continues to use Accounting Principles Board Opinion No. 25 (APB No. 25), “Accounting for Stock Issued to Employees,” to account for equity grants and awards to employees, officers and directors and has adopted the disclosure-only provisions of SFAS No. 148. In accordance with APB No. 25, the Company recognizes compensation expense in income based on the excess, if any, of the quoted stock price at the grant date of the award or other measurement date over the amount an employee must pay to acquire the stock. The Company’s stock option plans are more fully described in note 13.

 

The following table illustrates the effect on net loss and net loss per share if the Company had applied the fair value recognition provisions of SFAS No. 123 (as amended) to stock-based compensation. The estimated fair value of each option is calculated using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model (in thousands, except per share amounts):

 

     2003

    2002

    2001

 

Net loss as reported

   $ (303,417 )   $ (1,141,879 )   $ (450,094 )

Add: Stock-based employee compensation expense, net of related tax effect, included in net loss as reported

     2,077                  

Less: Total stock-based employee compensation expense determined under fair value based method for all awards, net of related tax effect

     (31,156 )     (38,126 )     (50,540 )
    


 


 


Pro-forma net loss

   $ (332,496 )   $ (1,180,005 )   $ (500,634 )
    


 


 


Basic and diluted net loss per share as reported

   $ (1.46 )   $ (5.84 )   $ (2.35 )

Basic and diluted net loss per share Pro-forma

   $ (1.60 )   $ (6.04 )   $ (2.61 )

 

Fair Value of Financial Instruments—The carrying values of the Company’s financial instruments, with the exception of long-term obligations, including current portion, reasonably approximate the related fair values as of December 31, 2003 and 2002. As of December 31, 2003, the carrying amount and fair value of long-term obligations, including current portion, were $3.4 billion and $3.6 billion, respectively. As of December 31, 2002, the carrying amount and fair value of long-term obligations, including current portion, were $3.4 billion and $3.0 billion, respectively. Fair values are based primarily on quoted market prices for those or similar instruments.

 

Retirement Plan—The Company has a 401(k) plan covering substantially all employees who meet certain age and employment requirements. Under the plan, the Company matches 35% of participants’ contributions up to a maximum 5% of a participant’s contributions. The Company contributed approximately $825,000, $979,000 and $1,540,000 to the plan for the years ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001, respectively.

 

F-11


Table of Contents

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements—In June 2001, the FASB issued SFAS No. 143, “Accounting for Asset Retirement Obligations.” This statement addresses financial accounting and reporting for obligations associated with the retirement of tangible long-lived assets and the related asset retirement costs. The fair value of a liability for asset retirement obligations is to be recognized in the period in which it is incurred and can be reasonably estimated. Such asset retirement costs are to be capitalized as part of the carrying amount of the related long-lived asset and depreciated over the asset’s estimated useful life. Fair value estimates of liabilities for asset retirement obligations will generally involve discounted future cash flows. Periodic accretion of such liabilities due to the passage of time is to be recorded as an operating expense. The provisions of SFAS No. 143 were effective for the Company as of January 1, 2003. The Company recognized the cumulative effect of adopting SFAS No. 143 of $1.3 million in loss on investments and other expense in its consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2003. The Company has also recorded accretion expense of $0.2 million in depreciation and amortization expense in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2003.

 

The Company has certain legal obligations related to tower assets which fall within the scope of SFAS No. 143. These include obligations to remediate leased land on which the Company’s tower assets are located. The significant assumptions used in estimating the Company’s aggregate asset retirement obligation, which, as of December 31, 2003, approximates $4.1 million and is included in other long-term liabilities in the accompanying consolidated balance sheet, were: timing and number of tower removals; expected inflation rates that are consistent with historical inflation rates; and credit-adjusted risk-free rates that approximate the Company’s incremental borrowing rate. The Company did not settle any material liabilities related to this obligation during the year ended December 31, 2003.

 

In August 2001, the FASB issued SFAS No. 144, “Accounting for the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets,” (SFAS No. 144), which supersedes SFAS No. 121, “Accounting for the Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and for Long-Lived Assets to Be Disposed Of,” but retains many of its fundamental provisions. The Company adopted SFAS No. 144 on January 1, 2002. Accordingly, all relevant impairment assessments and decisions concerning discontinued operations have been made under this standard in 2003 and 2002. (See note 2.)

 

In April 2002, the FASB issued SFAS No. 145 “Rescission of FASB Statement Nos. 4, 44, and 64, Amendment of FASB Statement No. 13 and Technical Corrections.” Upon the adoption of SFAS No. 145, gains and losses from extinguishment of debt are no longer classified as extraordinary items, but rather classified as part of other income (expense) in the Company’s consolidated statement of operations. Any such gains or losses classified as extraordinary items in prior periods were reclassified upon the adoption of SFAS No. 145. The Company adopted the provisions of this SFAS No. 145 on January 1, 2003. Accordingly, the Company reclassified a loss from extinguishment of debt originally recorded as an extraordinary item of $1.7 million to loss on retirement of long-term obligations in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2002.

 

In July 2002, the FASB issued SFAS No. 146 “Accounting for Costs Associated with Exit or Disposal Activities.” The statement requires costs associated with exit or disposal activities to be recognized when they are incurred rather than at the date of a commitment to an exit or disposal plan. The requirements of SFAS No. 146 are effective for exit or disposal activities initiated after January 1, 2003. The Company has applied the provisions of this statement to exit or disposal activities initiated after January 1, 2003. (See note 11.)

 

In November 2002, the FASB issued Interpretation No. 45 (FIN 45), “Guarantor’s Accounting and Disclosure Requirements for Guarantees, Including Indirect Guarantees of Indebtedness of Others, an interpretation of FASB Statements No. 5, 57 and 107 and rescission of FASB Interpretation No. 34.” This interpretation requires that a guarantor recognize, at the inception of a guarantee, a liability for the fair value of the obligation

 

F-12


Table of Contents

AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

 

undertaken by issuing the guarantee. This interpretation also requires additional disclosures to be made by a guarantor in its annual financial statements about its obligations under certain guarantees it has issued. The accounting requirements for the initial recognition of guarantees are applicable on a prospective basis for guarantees issued or modified after December 31, 2002. The Company applied the initial liability recognition and measurement provisions of this interpretation in 2003 and recorded a liability for its estimate of costs that it may incur under certain indemnifications related to sold businesses, of $0.6 million, which is reflected in loss on discontinued operations, net in the accompanying consolidated financial statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2003. (See note 9.)

 

In January 2003 and December 2003, the FASB issued Interpretation No. 46, “Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities” (FIN 46), and its revision, FIN 46-R, respectively. FIN 46 and FIN 46-R addresses the consolidation of entities whose equity holders have either not provided sufficient equity at risk to allow the entity to finance its own activities or do not possess certain characteristics of a controlling financial interest. FIN 46 and FIN 46-R require the consolidation of these entities, known as variable interest entities (VIEs), by the primary beneficiary of the entity. The primary beneficiary is the entity, if any, that is subject to a majority of the risk of loss from the VIE’s activities, entitled to receive a majority of the VIE’s residual returns, or both. FIN 46 and FIN 46-R are applicable for financial statements of public entities that have interests in VIEs or potential VIEs referred to as special purpose entities for periods ending after December 15, 2003, of which the Company had none. Application by public entities for all other types of entities is required in financial statements for periods ending after March 15, 2004. The Company has applied the provisions of FIN 46 and the adoption was not material to its consolidated financial position and results of operations. The Company is continuing to evaluate its investments to determine which, if any, will be impacted by the adoption of FIN 46-R. The adoption of FIN 46-R is not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial position or results of operations.

 

In May 2003, the FASB issued SFAS No. 150 “Accounting for Certain Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Both Liabilities and Equity.” The statement requires issuers to classify certain financial instruments as liabilities, many of which were previously classified as equity. This statement does not, however, affect the classification of convertible bonds, puttable stock or other outstanding shares that are conditionally redeemable; nor does it change the accounting treatment of conversion features, conditional redemption features, or other features embedded in financial instruments that are not derivatives in their entirety. The Company applied the provisions of this statement in the third quarter of 2003 and the adoption was not material to its consolidated financial position or results of operations.

 

Reclassifications—Certain reclassifications have been made to the 2002 and 2001 financial statements to conform with the 2003 presentation.

 

2.    DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS

 

In 2003 and 2002, in connection with the Company’s plan to focus on its core tower business, the Company sold or committed to sell several non-core businesses. In accordance with SFAS No. 144, the Company classified the operating results of these businesses as discontinued operations in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. In addition, the assets and liabilities of the discontinued operations not disposed of as of December 31, 2003 and 2002 have been reflected as assets held for sale and liabilities held for sale in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.

 

The following businesses have been reflected as discontinued operations in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations for all periods presented. Impairment charges and gains/losses are presented net of taxes.

 

Verestar—In December 2002, the Company committed to a plan to sell Verestar by December 31, 2003. Pursuant to that plan, in February 2003, the Company consummated the sale of Maritime

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

 

Telecommunications Network (MTN), a subsidiary of Verestar, for approximately $25.5 million. In December 2003, Verestar filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws. Under generally accepted accounting principles, consolidation is generally required for investments of more than 50% of the outstanding voting stock of an investee, except when control is not held by the majority owner. Under these rules, legal reorganization or bankruptcy represent conditions which can preclude consolidation in instances where control rests with the bankruptcy court, rather than the majority owner. Accordingly, due to the bankruptcy filing, the Company ceased to consolidate Verestar’s financial results beginning December 22, 2003. The operations of Verestar are included in loss from discontinued operations, net in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations through the date of the bankruptcy filing.

 

The Company recognized aggregate impairment charges related to its investment in Verestar of approximately $26.5 million and $187.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2002, respectively. These charges reduced the carrying value of the Company’s investment in Verestar to zero as of December 31, 2003. These charges are included in loss from discontinued operations, net in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations for the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2002.

 

The Company is primarily and secondarily liable as a guarantor for up to $10.0 million of certain contractual obligations associated with Verestar. If Verestar fails to honor certain of its contractual obligations because of its bankruptcy filing or otherwise, claims may be made against the Company for breaches by Verestar on those contracts. The Company has recorded a liability for its estimate of costs that it may incur under these contracts, which is included in accounts payable and accrued expenses in the accompanying consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2003. (See note 9.)

 

Kline—In June 2003, the Company committed to sell its steel fabrication and tall tower construction service subsidiary, Kline Iron & Steel Co., Inc. (Kline) by June 30, 2004, which was previously included in the network development services segment. During 2003, the Company recognized an aggregate non-cash charge of approximately $14.6 million (including $10.3 million of goodwill) related to the impairment of Kline’s net assets to reduce their carrying value to the estimated proceeds expected upon disposal. This charge is reflected in loss from discontinued operations, net, in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2003. The Company sold substantially all the net assets of Kline on March 1, 2004. (See note 19.)

 

Consummated Transactions—In August 2003, the Company consummated the sale of Galaxy Engineering (Galaxy), a radio frequency engineering, network design and tower-related consulting business previously included in the network development services segment. The purchase price of approximately $3.5 million included $2.0 million in cash, which the Company received at closing, and an additional $1.5 million payable on January 15, 2008, or at an earlier date based on the future revenues of Galaxy. Pursuant to this transaction, the Company recorded a net loss on disposal of approximately $2.4 million in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2003.

 

In May 2003, the Company consummated the sale of an office building in Westwood, Massachusetts (previously held primarily as rental property and reported in the rental and management segment) for a purchase price of approximately $18.5 million, including $2.4 million of cash proceeds and the buyer’s assumption of $16.1 million of related mortgage notes. Pursuant to this transaction, the Company recorded a net loss on disposal of approximately $3.6 million in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2003.

 

In January 2003, the Company consummated the sale of Flash Technologies, its remaining components business (previously included in the network development services segment) for approximately

 

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AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

 

$35.5 million in cash and has recorded a net gain on disposal of approximately $0.1 million in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2003.

 

In December 2002, the Company committed to a plan to sell an office building in Schaumburg, Illinois (previously held primarily as rental property and reported in the rental and management segment) and recorded an estimated net loss on disposal of $3.2 million in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2002. In March 2003, the Company consummated the sale of this building for net proceeds of approximately $10.3 million in cash and has recorded a net loss on disposal of $0.1 million in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations for the year ended December 31, 2003.

 

In December 2002, the Company consummated the sale of the building where it maintained its corporate headquarters (previously held primarily as rental property and reported in the rental and management segment) for approximately $68.0 million and recorded a net gain on disposal of approximately $5.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2002. Approximately $38.5 million of the net proceeds were used to retire the building’s existing mortgage. As the Company maintains its corporate offices within the building, it also entered into a lease agreement for approximately 11.5% of the building’s total office space. The lease has been classified as an operating lease and approximately $5.9 million of additional gain was deferred in accordance with SFAS No. 13, “Accounting for Leases,” as amended.

 

In July 2002, the Company consummated the sale of MTS Components (previously included in the network development services segment) and incurred a net loss on disposal of approximately $16.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2002. Proceeds from the sale were approximately $32.0 million and consisted of approximately $20.0 million in cash and $12.0 million of notes receivable, which were repaid during 2002 and 2003.

 

Summary operating results of the discontinued operations are as follows (in thousands):

 

     2003

    2002

    2001

 

Revenue

   $ 200,473     $ 412,053     $ 479,214  
    


 


 


Loss from discontinued operations

     (14,342 )     (268,179 )     (73,745 )

Income tax benefit on loss from discontinued operations

     1,874       22,965       14,755  

Net loss on disposal of discontinued operations, net of tax benefit of $10,160 and $7,566, respectively

     (48,458 )     (13,510 )        
    


 


 


Loss from discontinued operations, net

   $ (60,926 )   $ (258,724 )   $ (58,990 )
    


 


 


 

The Company had assets held for sale and liabilities held for sale comprised of the following as of December 31, (in thousands):

 

     2003

   2002

Accounts receivable, net

   $ 2,982    $ 40,069

Prepaids and other current assets

     1,554      20,161

Property and equipment, net

     5,532      218,670

Other long-term assets

     51      35,305
    

  

Assets held for sale

   $ 10,119    $ 314,205
    

  

Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other current liabilities

   $ 8,416    $ 59,324

Capital lease obligations

            125,230

Notes payable

            16,142
    

  

Liabilities held for sale

   $ 8,416    $ 200,696
    

  

 

 

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AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

 

3. COSTS AND EARNINGS IN EXCESS OF BILLINGS ON UNCOMPLETED CONTRACTS AND UNBILLED RECEIVABLES

 

The Company derives a portion of its network development services revenue from customer contracts that either provide for billing only after certain milestones within contracts have been achieved, or provide for progress billings as the Company fulfills its obligations under the related contracts. As the Company recognizes revenue on these contracts using the percentage-of-completion, cost plus profit and time and materials methodologies, such contracts may give rise to revenue which has been earned, but, as of a certain point in time, remains unbilled. Such amounts are included in costs and earnings in excess of billings on uncompleted contracts and unbilled receivables in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. These contracts may also give rise to billings that are in excess of amounts actually earned as of a certain point in time. The excess of amounts billed over the amount earned on these contracts is reflected in billings in excess of costs on uncompleted contracts and unearned revenue in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.

 

The following are the components of costs and earnings in excess of billings on uncompleted contracts and billings in excess of costs and earnings on uncompleted contracts as of December 31, (in thousands):

 

     2003

    2002

 

Costs incurred on uncompleted contracts

   $ 34,748     $ 30,659  

Estimated earnings

     9,960       10,519  

Unbilled receivables

     8,863       19,844  

Billings to date

     (39,469 )     (45,168 )
    


 


     $ 14,102     $ 15,854  
    


 


Included in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets:

                

Costs and earnings in excess of billings on uncompleted contracts and unbilled receivables

   $ 18,894     $ 19,976  

Billings in excess of costs on uncompleted contracts

     (4,792 )     (4,122 )
    


 


     $ 14,102     $ 15,854  
    


 


 

In addition, the Company had unbilled receivables related to its rental and management segment of $1.0 million and $2.0 million as of December 31, 2003 and 2002, respectively. The Company also had unearned revenues of $36.7 million and $34.6 million as of December 31, 2003 and 2002, respectively, consisting mainly of customer rents received in advance.

 

4.    PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT

 

Property and equipment (including assets held under capital leases) consist of the following as of December 31, (in thousands):

 

     2003

    2002

 

Towers

   $ 2,784,564     $ 2,706,005  

Equipment

     121,780       121,238  

Buildings and improvements

     166,068       168,445  

Land and improvements

     173,619       176,990  

Construction-in-progress

     38,683       63,755  
    


 


Total

     3,284,714       3,236,433  

Less accumulated depreciation and amortization

     (738,189 )     (541,434 )
    


 


Property and equipment, net

   $ 2,546,525     $ 2,694,999  
    


 


 

 

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AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

 

5.    GOODWILL AND OTHER INTANGIBLE ASSETS

 

As of January 1, 2002, the Company adopted the provisions of SFAS No. 142 “Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.” SFAS No. 142 requires that goodwill and intangible assets with indefinite lives no longer be amortized, but reviewed for impairment at least annually. Intangible assets that are deemed to have a definite life will continue to be amortized over their useful lives. SFAS No. 142 also required that, as of January 1, 2002, the Company assess whether its goodwill was impaired by performing a transitional impairment test. This impairment test was comprised of two steps. The initial step was designed to identify potential goodwill impairment by comparing an estimate of the fair value of the applicable reporting unit to its carrying value, including goodwill. If the carrying value exceeded fair value, a second step was performed, which compared the implied fair value of the applicable reporting unit’s goodwill with the carrying amount of that goodwill, to measure the amount of goodwill impairment, if any.

 

The Company completed its transitional impairment testing in the second quarter of 2002 and concluded that all of the goodwill related to Verestar and the majority of the goodwill in the network development services segment was impaired. As a result, the Company recognized a $562.6 million non-cash charge, net of tax, related to the write-down of goodwill to its fair value. In accordance with the provisions of SFAS No. 142, the charge is included in the results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2002 as the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle.

 

A description of the Company’s reporting units (by segment) and the results of the related transitional impairment testing are as follows:

 

Verestar—Verestar was a single segment and reporting unit until December 2002, when the Company committed to a plan to dispose of Verestar. The Company recorded an impairment charge of $189.3 million relating to the impairment of goodwill in this reporting unit. The fair value of this reporting unit was determined based on an independent third party appraisal.

 

Network Development Services (Services)—As of January 1, 2002, the reporting units in the Company’s network development services segment included Kline, Specialty Constructors, Galaxy, MTS Components and Flash Technologies. The Company estimated the fair value of these reporting units utilizing future discounted cash flows and market information as to the value of each reporting unit on January 1, 2002. The Company recorded an impairment charge of $387.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2002 related to the impairment of goodwill within these reporting units. Such charge included full impairment for all of the goodwill within the reporting units except Kline, for which only a partial impairment was recorded. As discussed in note 2, the assets of all of these reporting units were sold as of December 31, 2003, except for those of Kline. (See note 19.)

 

Rental and Management (RM)—The Company obtained an independent third party appraisal of the rental and management reporting unit that contains goodwill and determined that goodwill was not impaired.

 

With the adoption of SFAS No. 142, the Company also reassessed the useful lives and residual values of all acquired intangible assets. Based on those assessments, no adjustments were made to the amortization periods or residual values of the Company’s remaining intangible assets.

 

The Company has selected December 1st as the date to perform its annual impairment test. In December 2003 and 2002, the Company completed its annual impairment testing. In performing its testing, the Company obtained an independent third party appraisal of its rental and management reporting unit that contains goodwill and concluded that an impairment was not required. The Company’s annual impairment testing at December 1, 2002 also included the remaining goodwill of Kline, and based on available market information, the Company

 

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NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS—(Continued)

 

determined that goodwill was not impaired. As described in note 2, the Company committed to a plan to sell Kline in June 2003, reclassified its net assets to assets held for sale and recorded an impairment charge that included the remaining $10.3 million of Kline’s goodwill.

 

The changes in the net carrying amounts of goodwill by segment for the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2002 are as follows (in thousands):

 

     RM

   Services

    Verestar

    Total

 

Balance as of January 1, 2002

   $ 580,823    $ 394,264     $ 185,306     $ 1,160,393  

Reclassifications (primarily acquired workforce)

     11,860      3,799       3,997       19,656  

Kline reclassification to assets held for sale

            (10,310 )             (10,310 )

Transitional impairment charge (pre-tax)

            (387,753 )     (189,303 )     (577,056 )
    

  


 


 


Balance as of December 31, 2003 and 2002

   $ 592,683    $       $       $ 592,683  
    

  


 


 


 

Prior to the adoption of SFAS No. 142, the Company had approximately $1.2 billion of net goodwill that was amortized on a straight-line basis over a fifteen-year period. Had the Company not amortized goodwill in prior periods in accordance with SFAS No. 142, amortization expense would have decreased by $87.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2001 and net loss and net loss per share for the year ended December 31, 2001 would have been approximately $(362.3) million and $(1.89), respectively.

 

The Company’s other intangible assets subject to amortization consist of the following as of December 31, (in thousands):

 

     2003

    2002

 

Acquired customer base and network location intangibles

   $ 1,299,708     $ 1,306,863  

Deferred financing costs

     111,484       100,091  

Other intangibles

     43,125       42,788  
    


 


Total

     1,454,317       1,449,742  

Less accumulated amortization

     (397,240 )     (311,424 )
    


 


Other intangible assets, net

   $ 1,057,077     $ 1,138,318  
    


 


 

The Company amortizes its intangible assets over periods ranging from three to fifteen years. Amortization of intangible assets for the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2002 aggregated approximately $88.9 million and $87.7 million, respectively. The Company expects to record amortization expense of approximately $89.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2005 and 2006, respectively, and $86.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2007 and 2008, respectively.

 

6.    NOTES RECEIVABLE

 

In 2000, the Company loaned TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V. (TV Azteca), the owner of a major national television network in Mexico, $119.8 million. The loan, which initially bore interest at 12.87%, payable quarterly, was discounted by the Company, as the fair value interest rate at the date of the loan was determined to be 14.25%. The loan was amended effective January 1, 2003 to increase the original interest rate to 13.11%. As of December 31, 2003, and 2002, approximately $119.8 million undiscounted ($108.2 million discounted) under the loan was outstanding and included in notes receivable and other long-term assets in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. The term of the loan is seventy years; however, the loan may be prepaid by TV Azteca without penalty during the last fifty years of the agreement. The discount on the loan is being amortized to interest income—TV Azteca, net, using the effective interest method over the seventy-year term of the loan.