Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX) bills itself as “The World’s Digital Infrastructure Company” and sports the scale of data center operations to support that claim. At the end of 2021, the company reported a global footprint of 240 data centers, both owned and operated through joint ventures, across 66 major metropolitan markets in 27 countries on 5 continents in three operating regions – Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia-Pacific (APAC).
EQIX owns 122 of the 240 data centers that it runs. These owned facilities, dubbed International Business Exchanges (IBX), account for 17.9 million of 28.1 million total gross square footage of its data center portfolio. IBXs generate 59 percent of EQIX’s total recurring revenues.
EQIX’s global partner ecosystem serves more than 10,000 companies including half of the Fortune 500 companies. Its data centers interconnect with over 2,000 telecom networks and more than 3,000 cloud and IT service providers.
The company has a portfolio of physical and virtual interconnections, including the worldwide reach of Equinix Fabric™, totaling over 419,000 connections globally. Interconnection revenues for the quarter grew 12 percent year-over-year with unit adds to Equinix Fabric reflecting more use cases in more locations and between more counterparties.
At the end of 2021, EQIX had 41 major IBX builds underway in 28 markets across 19 countries including nine very large xScale (hyperscale data centers) builds. During 2021, the company opened seven new data centers in seven metros – Genoa, Munich, Osaka, Perth, Tokyo, Warsaw and Washington, D.C.
Revenues for the full-year 2021 were $6.6 billion, up 11 percent YoY. Adjusted EBITDA came in at $3.1 billion including $15 million of integration costs. AFFO was $2.5 billion, up 12 percent over the previous year.
Acquisitions remain an integral part of EQIX’s growth strategy. In December, the company entered Africa by acquiring MainOne, a leading West African data center and connectivity solutions provider in Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The deal is set to close in early Q2. This acquisition marks the first step in Equinix’s long-term strategy to become one of Africa’s leading digital infrastructure providers while positioning in Africa largest economies.
“Businesses globally continue to prioritize digital transformation as a foundational source of competitive advantage and the secular drivers for our business have never been stronger, as digital leaders demand infrastructure that is more distributed, more ecosystem powered, more flexible, more sustainable and more interconnected than ever before,” says Charles Meyers, EQIX President and CEO. “As we look to 2022, the trajectory and underlying momentum in our business is exceptionally strong, with a solid demand pipeline, stable churn and a rising price trend, resulting in a revenue outlook for the year that is at or above the high end of our long-term guidance range.”
EQIX presented a positive outlook for 2022, expecting top-line revenues of $7.2-7.25 billion, an increase of 9-10 percent above the high end of its long-term growth rate, reflecting the continued momentum in the business. Adjusted EBITDA is expected in the $3.31-3.34 billion range with higher utility expense expected partially offset operational efficiencies. The company expects to incur $20 million of integration costs in 2022 for various acquisitions. AFFO is expected to grow 8-9 percent to $2.6-2.7 billion. EQIX expects 2022 capex to be approximately $2.3-2.6 billion, with the bulk for new builds and existing facility expansions and about $160 million for maintenance capex.
By John Celentano, Inside Towers Business Editor