• Who Spent What on What Last Year

    Insider has prepared a table of who spent what kind of capital expenditures during 2018.

    2018 Capital Expenditures (in millions)

    Lamar spent the most money ($593 million) in 2018 due to acquisitions and improvements to existing structures.  Lamar also spent $15 million on land acquisitions.  Lamar owns the land under 7,600 (9%) of its 80,900 sites.  Clear Channel Outdoor and Outfront don’t break this out but Insider doubts they are anywhere close.   Insider hears that Lamar treats Landmark Infrastructure as an adversary while Outfront and Clear Channel are more willing to deal with Landmark.  Insider thinks land and easement purchases are smart especially if you expect to grow revenues in the future and want to avoid rising lease costs.  Think of an easement purchase as a risk free return on your money because you’ll get the expense savings regardless of economic conditions.  If you buy an easement for 10X annual rent you’ve created a risk free 10% return.  Where else can you earn that risk free?

    Clear Channel Outdoor spent $211 million on capital expenditures during 2018.  $76 million was spent in the US primarily for digital, $130 million was spent overseas and $4 million was corporate.

    Link Media spent $142 million on acquisitions.  Link has been contesting with Lamar for some larger transactions.  Expect Link’s buying to continue.

    Outfront spent $83 million although the number is understated because it doesn’t include money spent on the MTA deal in New York.  MTA capital expenditures are accounted for by Outfront as a prepaid asset or as intangible asset franchise rights, not as capital expenditures.

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