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Wireless tower giant Crown Castle reported stronger earnings and revenue from site rentals in the final quarter of 2017.

The Houston company announced adjusted quarterly earnings of $707 million, up from $575 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, while site rental revenues jumped from $817 million to more than $1 billion over that span.

Adjusted funds from operations also climbed — from $406 million to $512 million — but net income declined from $125 million in the previous fourth quarter to $98 million in the final three months of 2017.

Crown Castle's acquisition of fiber company Lightower in November contributed $140 million to site rentals, $83 million to adjusted earnings and $79 million to AFFO.

Company officials said CCI hit its growth targets despite investments intended to maintain its position as "the leading shared infrastructure provider in the U.S. in the near-term."

"We remain excited by the increasing investment activity by our customers that is translating to an expected increase in new leasing activity across towers, small cells and fiber solutions in 2018," CEO Jay Brown said in a statement.

Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Jennifer Fritzsche wrote in a note that the company's adjusted earnings nearly matched expectations while site rental revenue narrowly beat projections.

"While the organic leasing is slightly down [year-over-year], we note FirstNet is not yet in [its 2018] guide," Fritzsche wrote. "Given that CCI owns the AT&T legacy towers, we continue to believe FirstNet will be the largest needle mover for CCI as a percent of revenue once the two companies ... come to agreements."

The company also reported increases in site rentals, income and earnings for the full calendar year. CFO Dan Schlanger noted that the company deployed some $9 billion during the year to "secure premium metro fiber assets in top markets where we see the greatest long-term demand for small cells and fiber solutions."

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