Switch, Inc. (SWCH) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Switch, Inc. (NYSE: SWCH)Q4 2017 Earnings Conference CallApril 2, 2017, 5:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

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  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, good day and welcome to the Switch, Inc. fourth quarter and full-year 2017 earnings call. Today's conference is being recorded. At this time, I'd like to turn the conference over to Irmina Blasczyk. Please go ahead. ­

Irmina Blasczyk -- The Blueshirt Group for Switch, Inc.

Thank you. Good afternoon and welcome to Switch's fourth quarter and full-year 2017 conference call. Joining me today are Thomas Morton, Switch's president, and Gabe Nacht, Switch's CFO. Before we start, I would like to remind everyone that certain statements made on this call may include forward-looking statements. Any statement that refers to expectations, projections, or other characterizations of future events, including financial projects or future market conditions, is a forward-looking statement. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, and we make no obligation to update our disclosures.

These statements are based on currently available information, and they are subject to a number of significant risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. We describe some of these risks in our SEC filings, specifically our Form 10-K, particularly in a section entitled "Risk Factors." Statements today include non-GAAP financial measures. These measures should not be considered in isolation from or as a substitute for financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. For information regarding these non-GAAP financial measures, the most directly comparable GAAP measures, and a reconciliation of these measures, please refer to today's press release regarding our fourth quarter and full-year 2017 results.

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This press release has been furnished to the SEC as part of our Form 8-K and is available on our investor website at investors.switch.com. Let me now turn the call over to Thomas Morton, Switch's president. Thomas?

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

Thank you, Irmina. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us today. Needless to say, 2017 was a big year for Switch. We had record growth, announced the fourth PRIME in Atlanta, Georgia, and successfully completed the year's third largest technology IPO in October. Since the last earnings call in November, we had a chance to speak to and meet with many of you. We look forward to continuing the dialogue and seeing you at upcoming conferences.

I would like to start today with a summary of our operating results in 2017, followed by a review of our accomplishments, and finally, setting out some of our strategic initiatives in recent months. I will then turn the call over to Gabe Nacht, our CFO, for a discussion of our quarterly and annual results, and the outlook for the full fiscal year.

Switch is a technology infrastructure company, powering the sustainable growth of the connected world. We created small, resilient, and sustainable infrastructure solutions that support the most innovative technology ecosystems. We believe we are highly differentiated, decidedly competitive, and unrivaled in our expansion capacities. We have located each of our four PRIMEs in locations with low cost of electricity, low or no taxes, low cost of telecom, low cost of living, low risk of natural disaster, and with low latency to the major cities in their respective regions, providing coverage to the contiguous United States, while leveraging the cost efficiency of having only four PRIME locations.

We build our facilities using Switch modularly optimized designs, or Switch Mods. These designs allow us to rapidly deploy or replace infrastructure to meet our customers' current and future data storage and compute requirements. We deploy capital in a resilient, efficient, and effective manner. Across our current facilities, we have generated on average 19% cash flow yield on invested capital in 2017. Our reputation and track record contribute to our efficient and robust organic growth.

Our revenue has grown from $166.8 million in 2013 to $378.3 million in 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate of 23%. For the same years, our adjusted EBITDA grew from $95.5 million to $194.7 million, representing a CAGR of 20%. We have grown our customer base 100% organically and with brand-new, purpose-built facilities. Our customers tend to increase their spending with us over time, demonstrating the power of our brand and the quality of our solutions. Additionally, our average annual customer churn rate over the last three years was just 0.9%, with only 0.6% in 2017, which is the lowest reported churn rate in our industry.

After 17 years of consistent organic growth, Switch is now one of the leading technology ecosystems in the world. Our growth, our dedication, and our results continue to expand based on our mission and our values. Our values govern how we operate and what we accomplish, making 2017 another landmark year for Switch. Let's review some of those key accomplishments.

Since January 1, 2016, Switch has powered all of its United States data centers with 100% clean and renewable energy. We further advanced Switch's role in sustainability with the launch of Switched On, our power purchasing consortium. We announced Rob Roy's Gigawatt Nevada, the largest solar project in the United States, which will produce among the lowest priced solar power in the world, allowing our customers to receive renewable energy for what we understand to be substantially less that the cost of receiving power from any other source.

This underscores our commitment to sustainability and making the Nevada PRIMEs the only Tier 1 market that can offer its customers 100% renewal energy for $0.049 per kilowatt hour. In addition, just as we offer cooperative purchasing of telecom capacity, we now take a similar leadership role by offering to sell power to our customers, not just for their data center deployments within our PRIMEs, but also for their corporate facilities, factories, and other electrical power needs.

On March 20, 2018, Switch joined the Western States Power Pool, providing Switch with the access and the ability to sell energy across the Western United States. We also applied for and received our license to sell power from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or FERC on that same date, which allows us to sell power to anyone within the 16-state open state markets, expanding our potential power base for our Gigawatt 1 project.

Just as we've committed to sustainability, another one of our core values is committing to our communities through economic development. We believe in building strong communities wherever we operate. In 2017, we continued to exemplify that commitment. In March 2017, we leveraged the Switch SUPERLOOP, an extended fiber, to rural Nevada communities, schools, and hospitals, increasing their internet capacity as much as 2000%. We also support education initiatives. We believe that combining education, technology, and the arts creates a powerful platform for the future of our country and its market competitiveness.

In 2017, we proudly sponsored the first robotics competitions in both Las Vegas, Nevada, and Kentwood, Michigan. The event combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, sparking creativity and innovation in the minds of students while exposing them to possible careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Switch also provided more than $3.4 million in critical technology infrastructure support services to power the University of Nevada computing cluster, that will boost research capacity, offering 30X more computing power to better support the latest research applications.

We believe that there is truth in technology and in 2017, we further strengthened our intellectual property portfolio, as we granted three additional patents. In 2017, we filed an additional 12 patents on new and innovative technologies. To date, that brings our total to over 500 issued and pending patent claims. One of the patents most recently awarded to Switch was for additional rights for 100% hot aisle containment rows, known as multi-cabinet hot aisle containment chimney pods, which is a critical foundation of Switch's world-class data centers. Underscoring our commitment to excellence was our announcement of the Tier 5 platinum data center standard, setting a new standard of excellence for the data center industry.

We also added to our portfolio the build-to-suit Switch Mod data center product line, which can be customized and scaled to meet on-premise customer demand. We leveraged our advanced technology and intellectual property to further enhance our relationships with key suppliers. We recently executed an intellectual property license agreement with Munters Corporation, one of the leading HVAC manufacturers in the colocation industry. This license, in addition to the license agreement with Schneider Electric, further validates the uniqueness of Rob Roy's inventions and provides additional legal protection.

Our values drive how we operate and translate to success. We expanded our customer base and added over100 new customers during 2017, and 18 new customers during Q4 2017 alone, including a major Southern California utility, a global home application manufacturer, a global cybersecurity company, a leader in blood services and transfusion medicine, and a marine robotics company.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, we consummated a transaction with Hulu. Hulu desired to migrate their existing data centers to a renewable energy center. Hulu made material advances in their environmental initiatives by moving their data center to a facility that eliminates 265,000 carbon tons of emissions from the environment. That's the equivalent of more than 50,000 cars off the road for a full year, further optimizing its relationship with Switch, Hulu leveraged our Switch Core to purchase telecommunication services, taking advantage of material savings over the historical options offered to them from their previous colocation providers. This move allowed Hulu to scale in a way that not only minimizes downtime for its customers, but also provides a stable, direct connection to AWS, allowing Hulu to support the growth of its existing cloud platform.

In response to strong demand from existing and new clients, Switch opened Las Vegas 10, adding nearly 340,000 square feet, and up to 50 megawatts of power to our core campus. We began work on our Las Vegas 11 facility, which is planned to open in the fourth quarter of this year. We are also increasing cabinet capacity at The Citadel campus and Pyramid campus. We officially began construction on The Keep campus in Atlanta, Georgia, which we expect to be operational in 2019.

We also announced the passage by the State Legislature of what is called the Switch Bill in Georgia. The bill exempted Switch and its clients from sales tax and use tax. The legislation and lobbying were created and led by the Switch strategy team, creating a bill that makes Switch even more competitive nationally in its newest market. To prepare for continued growth, we expanded our sales strategy by growing the non-commissioned, internal sales force to address demand for our West Coast PRIMEs, the Core Campus, and the Citadel campus, and our expanding East Coast presence with the Pyramid Campus and the Keep campus.

We aligned with the global, commercial real estate powerhouse, CBRE, to support Switch's strategic expansion and deployment across the United States. We also partnered with Rackspace to materially expand the availability of private cloud and managed service offerings within our ecosystems. The alliance advances the capability of Rackspace's open stack everywhere and HPE pay-as-you-go private cloud, and recognizes the need for customers to have hybrid colocation solutions as part of their IT modernization roadmap.

A long list of achievements coupled with our initial public offering in October made 2017 a remarkable year for Switch. There is so much more to come. We believe the total adjustable market for data centers and the myriad of related services contained within those ecosystems remains very strong and Switch will continue to benefit from that inherent growth for the foreseeable future.

By leveraging our combined ordering retail ecosystem or CORE, Switch is able to provide its clients and its partner with telecommunications and green electrical power at industry-leading price points, both within our data centers and at their corporate edge locations. CORE also provides Switch with multiple pads to support rapid growth in a stable, steady, and responsible manner. Through Rob Roy's technological innovation, industry partnerships, and public advocacy, Switch develops and operates one of the most advanced technology ecosystems in the world, while safeguarding the future of our plant through its green initiatives.

Let me now turn the call over to Gabe to discuss our financial results in more detail. Gabe?

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Thomas. Today, I'm going to review the financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2017. I will then provide our outlook for 2018.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, we achieved record quarterly revenue of $99.3 million, an increase of $17.4 million from the fourth quarter of 2016, representing 21% year-over-year organic growth, driven by an increase in the sale of our services to both existing customers and new customers, and driven by additional revenue in our Citadel campus and Pyramid campus, that were brand new in 2016.

For the full-year, we achieved record revenue of $378.3 million, representing 19% organic growth over 2016. The increase in revenue in 2017 was driven primarily by increased sales to existing customers, along with the addition of more than 100 new customers as we expanded customers in the Core Campus, the Citadel campus, and the Pyramid campus. For the fourth quarter and full-year 2017, we derived 98% of our revenue from recurring revenue streams, consisting of colocation, which includes the licensing of cabinet space and power, and connectivity services comprised of cross-connects, broadband services, and external connectivity.

For the full-year 2017, approximately 16% in the increase in revenue was attributable to the new customers initiating service after December 31, 2016. The remaining approximately 84% of the increase in revenue was attributable to growth from over 800 existing customers. The increase in revenue in 2017 was primarily related to increased volume, rather than an increase in the price as we charge our customers. Colocation revenue for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $79.8 million, an increase of 21% over the $66 million in colocation revenue during Q4 of 2016.

Connectivity revenue for Q4 of 2017 was $17.7 million, an increase of 25% over the $14.1 million in the same period in 2016. Other revenue, including professional services, accounted for $1.9 million in Q4 of 2017, up from $1.8 million in the same period in 2016. For the full-year 2017, colocation revenue was $304.7 million, up 18% compared to 2016, while connectivity revenue was $67.7 million, an increase of 26% over 2016. Other revenue for 2017 was $5.9 million, compared to $5.9 million in 2016.

The Switch CORE purchasing cooperative continues to drive connectivity revenue growth. Switch clients take advantage of our CORE purchasing cooperative to purchase telecommunication services, but we believe there's tremendous upside in further penetrating our client base for additional telecommunication purchases within their enterprises. For the full-year 2017, connectivity revenue accounted for 18% of total revenue, up from 17% of total revenue in 2016.

As Thomas mentioned, in addition to offering cooperative purchasing of telecommunication capacity, we will now start to take a similar leadership role with Switched On, our new energy division. We will purchase and distribute 100% green energy, underscoring our commitment to sustainability and making Switch Nevada the only Tier 1 markets that can offer 100% green power at rates of $0.049 per kilowatt hour to its customers. This compares to, for example, over $0.13 per kilowatt hour that competitors charge for brown power in the Bay Area.

Our technology ecosystem creates significant value for our customers and its powerful network effects drive customer loyalty, as has been reflected in our churn rates, which remain among the lowest in the industry. Switch's annual average churn rate for the three years ended 2017 was just 0.9% and was only 0.6% in 2017. Our churn rate for the fourth quarter of 2017 was 0.3%.

In 2017, we achieved $180 million in gross profit, a 20% increase from the $149.5 million in gross profit in 2016. Our gross profit margin improved to 48% in 2017, compared to 47% in 2016. As a reminder, as of June 1, 2017, we became an unbundled purchaser of energy in Nevada, allowing Switch to purchase 100% green energy from a variety of sources and at reduced prices, contributing to our increase in gross profit.

Turning now to operating expenses, cost of revenue increased by 17% to $198.2 million in 2017, compared to $168.6 million in 2016, primarily due to an increase in depreciation and amortization costs of $20.9 million, and costs associated with increased occupancy and expansion of the Core campus, the Citadel campus, and the Pyramid campus.

In 2017, SG&A was $160.6 million for the year, compared to $71.4 million in 2016. In 2017, SG&A increased 125% compared to 2016, which was in large part attributable to a non-recurring equity-based compensation charge of $71.3 million, resulting primarily from the accelerated vesting of certain incentive units upon our IPO, and awards granted under the 2017 incentive award grant. We also incurred a $5.6 million increase in professional services fees for legal and accounting services as we prepared for the IPO, and a $5.4 million increase in salaries and related expenses, predominantly due to an increase in headcount.

Income from operations in 2017 declined to $18.8 million, compared to $51.1 million in 2016, due to the additional equity-based compensation expense related to the IPO. We incurred a loss from operations of $54.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. First is the loss from operations of $7.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Excluding the impact of the non-recurring equity-based compensation expense related to the IPO, operating income for 2017 would have increased 77%.

Our net loss in 2017 was $8.6 million, and included the non-recurring charge of approximately $71.3 million in equity-based compensation expense. Fourth quarter 2017 net loss was $60.3 million. We generated net income of $31.4 million in 2016, and a net loss of $19.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Interest expense increased by $14.2 million to $25.1 million in 2017, compared to $10.8 million in 2016, primarily driven by our outstanding long-term debt, which increased from $472.1 million at year-end 2016, to $591.8 million at year-end 2017.

Adjusted EBITDA totaled $194.7 million for the full-year 2017, a 27% increase compared to adjusted EBITDA of $153.2 million in 2016. Our adjusted EBITDA margin in 2017 increased to 51.5%, compared to an adjusted EBITDA margin of 48.1% in 2016, following our investments in 2016 in advance of opening the Citadel campus and the Pyramid campus.

CapEx for 2017 totaled $402.6 million, up from $287.1 million in 2016, an increase of 40%. We deployed $201 million of capital in our Core campus in response to additional customer demand in density needs, in opening our Las Vegas 12 facility and 2 new sectors in Las Vegas 10. We also added 20 megawatts of power and cooling capacity, and we began work on our Las Vegas 11 facility, which is planned to open in late 2018 or early 2019, depending on customer demand, and adding another 340,000 gross square feet of space and up to 40 megawatts of capacity.

We also invested $127 million in the Citadel campus, opening two additional sectors and supporting 20 megawatts of additional power and cooling capacity. In 2017, we spent $68 million on the Pyramid campus, opening one new sector and adding 10 megawatts of power and cooling. In Q4 of 2017, we also exercised our purchase option for the Pyramid property, purchasing the building and 142 acres of land for $23.9 million.

2017 CapEx came in above our guided range of $345 million to $365 million, as we purchased additional parcels of land in Las Vegas and Atlanta totaling 22 acres for $15.3 million. Additionally, we accelerated the purchase of $14.8 million in equipment to take average of year-end discounts. Neither of these were included in our previous guidance. Maintenance CapEx for 2017 was $4.6 million and was 1.2% of revenue, compared to $5.1 million and 1.6% of revenue in 2016. Growth CapEx was $398 million in 2017, compared to $282 million in 2016.

Our existing PRIME campus locations currently encompass an aggregate of 4 million gross square feet of space and up to 415 megawatts of power. As of the end of 2017, the utilization rates of these PRIMEs, based on currently available data center space, were approximately 91%, 52%, and 50% at the Core campus, the Citadel campus, and the Pyramid campus respectively. Recall that we build our facilities using Switch modularly designs, which allow us to rapidly deploy infrastructure to meet our customers' current and future data storage and compute requirements. As we open additional sectors, utilize rates temporarily decline because we are making the space available in anticipation of established customer requirements.

Looking now at the balance sheet, on June 27, 2017, Switch executed a new $1.1 billion credit facility consisting of a $500 million revolving line of credit and a $600 million term loan. As of December 31, 2017, the company's total debt outstanding net of cash and cash equivalents, was $349 million, resulting in a ratio of net debt to adjusted EBITDA of just 1.7X. At year-end 2017, Switch had liquidity of $765 million, and we believe this is sufficient to fund our growth plans for the foreseeable future without the need to go back to the capital markets and further dilute investors.

Now turning to guidance. For 2018, revenue is expected to be in the range of $423 million to $440 million. Our revenue guidance for 2018 over 2017 implies 14% growth at the mid-point. This guidance includes a $9.4 million revenue impact due to fees booked in 2017 related to a 7-year, $280 million contract closed in 2016 with a strategic customer to reserve space at one of our facilities. At the time, the customer was in the process of separating into two independent companies and was not yet certain of the space they would need but contracted with Switch to keep space available through 2017 to provide them with time to finalize their split.

Starting in January of 2018, the contract provides for a minimum usage floor which increases monthly through June of 2018, with expectations for usage to return to usual levels in 2019. Adjusted for the impact of this contract, the midpoint of revenue guidance for 2018 would imply growth of 17%. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in the range of $216 million to $224 million, implying growth of 13% at midpoint. This, too, includes the impact of the fee discussed above. Adjusting for the impact of this specific contract, the midpoint of our EBITDA guidance implies EBITDA growth of 16% in 2018.

CapEx is expected to be in the range of $260 million to $310 million. As an UP-C company, Switch will be reporting earnings-per-share numbers based on the shares at Switch Inc. and the earnings attributable to Switch, Inc. based on its percentage ownership in Switch Ltd. In summary, Switch achieved another year of record annual revenue. Our technology ecosystem continues to create significant value for our customers and its powerful network effects drive customer loyalty. We believe the company is well-positioned to continue this success into 2018 and beyond.

Thank you, and let me turn the call back to Thomas for some closing remarks.

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

The growth opportunity ahead of Switch is significant. We are currently working with the largest funnel of enterprise retail colocation opportunities we have ever seen as a company. These opportunities are spread across all three of our current PRIMEs. The Core campus, the Citadel campus, and the Pyramid campus. Since the beginning of 2018, we've signed two additional large contracts for our Pyramid campus, committing most of the currently available space within that facility. Our industry-leading hyperscale facilities, combined with our CORE connectivity and Switched On energy divisions position Switch for continued organic growth.

I would once again like to take this opportunity on behalf of our management team to thank our employees, customers, and our partners for their commitment and continued support of Switch.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, we will now open the call for questions today. If you would like to ask a question, people press *1 on your telephone keypad. If you're on a speakerphone, please make sure that your mute function is turned off to allow your signal to reach our equipment. Once again, for any questions at this time, please press *1 now and we'll pause for just a moment.

Our first question will come from Richard Choe with JP Morgan.

Once again, ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to ask a question at this time, please press *1 now. Once again, if you would like to ask a question, please press *1 now. Again, we will go to Richard Choe for our first question from JP Morgan.

Richard Choe -- JP Morgan -- Analyst

Hi, just wanted to ask a question on CapEx. Came in a little bit higher in the quarter and the guide for '18 seems higher. What's driving it higher? In terms of sequential revenue growth, how would be thinking about it? It was lower than in the fourth quarter from third quarter than the previous quarters. How should we think about it through the year and what's driving it? Thank you.

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

Hi, Richard. This is Gabe. As far as CapEx, CapEx was a bit higher in the fourth quarter because we actually took advantage of a couple of opportunities that came up. We had the opportunity to purchase some additional plots of land around our Atlanta facility, which actually houses some residential properties today. Having residential properties next to our data center isn't ideal. So when those opportunities came up to purchase those properties, we took advantage of it.

We are also taking advantage of some additional property that came to market next to our innovation center here in Las Vegas. If you've been to our facility, you see part of the open land that's next to our innovation center. We wanted to take advantage of that as well. That was about a $15 million purchase that was unplanned.

Secondly, because we had liquidity following the IPO, we were sitting on around $800 or so million of cash and liquidity, we took advantage of some discounts afforded to us by our suppliers to take early commitment on some equipment that we would otherwise have taken in Q1 of 2018. That was about another $15 million acceleration of capital. As we move into '18, we've got a couple of things going on.

Clearly Atlanta is moving quickly, and so we've got an acceleration in that property of about $60 to $70 million of CapEx slated for Atlanta in 2018. We're also building our Las Vegas 11 facility here in Las Vegas, which also should take about $60 to $70 million of CapEx in 2018. Additionally, we're continuing to expand our Las Vegas 10 facility as customers fill into that. Those are the main things are driving CapEx a bit higher than what we otherwise would have projected. But once Atlanta is built and Las Vegas 11 is built, at that point we'll just be filling those facilities and we won't be building a significant new building in '19.

Richard Choe -- JP Morgan -- Analyst

Is that why the revenue growth is not -- I guess it's still solid, but not ramping as fast at the CapEx. Is that this is more stuff you're building in '18 that will impact '19 in terms of revenue?

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

Yeah, Richard. This is Thomas. Some of the things that came up there were, as Gabe said, this is future expansion land that we saw the opportunity to secure and we acted strategically to acquire that land. It is not land that we will need this year or next year, but land is something that when it comes up, we like to secure it. It allowed us to secure our perimeter and make sure that the campus was fully ours. So, we took advantage of the opportunity. Then also, as Gabe mentioned, the ability to take advantage of discounted equipment and offerings at the end of the year spiked a bit of more CapEx in order to lower the overall cost for the infrastructure of pieces that we were procuring.

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

With regard to the sequential revenue growth, Richard, we feel very happy with the fourth quarter performance. We had a good, strong quarter. As we move into '18, however, as I mentioned on the call, we do have a bit of an anomaly because of this contract that we entered into with our strategic customer that is about a $9 million, $9.4 million impact into '18. Most of that is front-loaded in the year into the first and second quarters. So, that does present a bit of a sequential growth challenge, but we're still expecting to see good, strong growth, particularly adjusted for the impact of that contract.

Richard Choe -- JP Morgan -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, once again, if you'd like to ask a question, please press *1 now. Once again, if you'd like to ask a question, please press *1 now. Our next question will come from Sami Badri with Credit Suisse.

Sami Badri -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Thank you. I just have a question on connectivity revenues accelerating at 25% year-over-year in the quarter and 26% in 2017 as a whole. What is driving this growth and how sustainable is this growth through 2018? Should we expect 25% year-over-year to be the right growth run rate or is this there some kind of one-off event driving that kind of growth within the year just in '17 and not going to happen in 2018?

[Inaudible] [00:36:42]

There wasn't any one-off event planning. [Inaudible].

Sami Badri -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

I'm sorry, I can't really hear you.

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

-- strong area of growth for us. As you know, most of our clients do take advantage of our core purchasing cooperative in one form or another, but we're finding additional upside and tremendous opportunity in further penetrating those clients into their enterprises. As their enterprise telecommunications contracts come up for renewal, we're able to allow them to leverage core and to continue to grow that.

A couple of other things driving it are cross-connects, as we've talked about in the past. We are more aggressively monetizing cross-connects than we have in the past. Cross-connect revenue grew over 30% for the year, so that was helping to drive growth. Our agency revenue has also driven growth. There's no one specific event that's driving that, just a great opportunity for our CORE purchasing cooperative.

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

Sami, just like our internal sales force for colocation, we have also expanded our internal sales force for connectivity in order to continue to fuel and foster growth in that area. We see that as a key differentiator for us as a company and as more of our customers learn about it and try it, the more that they tend to procure in it, so we see that as something that will grow and continue to accelerate in years to come.

Sami Badri -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Got it. Thank you. Sorry to ask this again, I think there was a little bit of a cut-off in the beginning of your response. Is around 25% growth year-over-year as the run rate, is that the right level we should think about or is it above or below that? I don't know if you guys mentioned that.

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

We really don't provide any forward-looking guidance on the specific revenue components. You've got our guidance for 2018 and we expect connectivity to continue to play an important part of that.

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

And as I said, Sami, we are investing in fostering and continuing that growth.

Sami Badri -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Great, thank you. Then just one last question on eBay and PayPal, is the majority of the noise and the churn involved with those formerly one-customer turned to two customers, has the majority of that noise passed us already or do you guys still see an element of noise coming from specifically those two customers?

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

I wouldn't necessarily term it as noise. As I spoke about in our comments, there is a revenue adjustment that is baked into the 2018 numbers, particularly in the first half of that year, associated with that transaction, but actually since the companies have split, we've picked up additional revenue from the split-off partner of that. So, that's been a tremendous success. The contract that we have with eBay is a 7-year deal that's got monthly revenue targets that are set in stone as part of that contract. I really wouldn't term it as noise. I do think there's an element that impacts revenue in the first half of the year, which we've spoken about. But in general, we're very happy with the way that contract is going. We've got a great relationship with eBay. We have a great relationship with PayPal and they've just signed a contract for a significant amount of cabinets.

Sami Badri -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Got it, great. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question will come from Frank Louthan with Raymond James

Frank Louthan -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Great, thank you. Can you walk us through some of the new logos that you've signed? How should we think about that as far as new verticals and so forth? If you look out a year from now, how should we think about the makeup in Grand Rapids and in Atlanta? Is it going to be mostly existing names or are you expecting some new growth, some new customers? How should we think about that next?

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

The verticals, we do have a slide that provides some additional info on that, Frank, on our website that talks about the verticals of those 18 new logos. We had folks in retail and consumer goods, cloud and IT software, government and utilities, including a very large Southern California utility. We had a Fortune 100 company, at least a subsidiary, that does some underwater exploration for a Global 100 company. We have digital content and media. It was across the board. Our diversity of industry type and our diversity of customers remains very healthy.

As we move toward Atlanta, I think we'll see, just as we have in Michigan, a mix of both new customers and expansion from existing customers.

[Crosstalk]

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

On a general theme, Frank, we tend to continue to attract the types of customers that we have in the performance, those that are looking for high-performance compute, those that are looking for high amounts of connectivity, and/or those that are highly regulated, and any blend of those three. So, those are the customers that we attract and retain very well as a company. We expect to see that trend continue going forward.

Frank Louthan -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Great. How many carriers do you have currently going into the Grand Rapids site and what do you expect to have in Atlanta when that's up and running?

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

We have in the double digits on our Grand Rapids site. We have double digits in Reno. We obviously have more than that here in Las Vegas. But we have all of the major carriers already connected to those sites. Atlanta is a very connected area. Frank, I think that you know our campus is going in across from Google's campus on the East Coast, so it's already a very connected site and we expect to have double-digit number of carriers there as well, which is really what we need to foster our CORE purchasing cooperative.

Frank Louthan -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Great, thank you very much.

Operator

Next we'll take a question from Tim Long from BMO Capital Markets.

Tim Long -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thank you. Two questions if I could. First, Thomas, you talked about some expansion of the sales force. How should we think about it? Obviously, you've got CapEx strong this year, so expecting good growth. How should we think about the sales force productivity and the ability to go out and sign new logos from here. How long do you think it will take your sales force expansion to show up in the numbers?

Then separately, if you could talk a little bit about Switched On. You made the correlation with CORE. Obviously, CORE is important for revenues and churn. But if you could just talk a little bit about the business model behind Switched On, how do you think that will manifest itself in the model? Do you think there will be a revenue component or just a cost component? Obviously, it should help churn. Will any of this, do you think, be passed on to the bottom line of the income statement?

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

Thank you. I'll let Gabe talk to specific numbers, but as far as expansion of the sales force, you might recall from our last earnings call we said we were going to do three things. One was to expand the internal sales force, which we have done by adding at least six new bodies to that sales force. Secondly, we were going to align ourselves with a major brokerage house, which we have done by aligning ourselves with CBRE. Thirdly, we said we were going to broaden and enhance our relationship with managed services providers, which we have done by signing the agreement with Rackspace.

So, all three of those items will distribute to our growth in three different ways. We believe that they not only de-risk the ability back East, but they will enhance and accelerate the growth in those areas. As to Switched On, Switched On we have not put in the model for this year. We were recently given our FERC license and we are beginning to work with our customers to sell power to them, but we need some time to and they need some time to figure out how they can buy from us, and what price points in the deployment strategy we will have with that.

But we do see that in the future being a material contributor to our bottom line. It is something that we are pursuing with great zeal.

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

With regard to the -- you mentioned Switched On -- is that going to be a revenue contributor or a cost contributor? It isn't going to be a cost contributor. The way we've structured that partnership is that partnership with Capital Dynamics. Capital Dynamics is a very large developer of solar properties in North America. They're actually taking the financial component of that and developing our gigawatt solar facility, which will enable Switch to lock in 4.9% green power for as much as we can possibly use.

Given our FERC license, we can now begin reselling that power to our customers at that same $0.049, which we think is a tremendously attractive opportunity for us and for our customers, and a tremendous opportunity to continue to do the right thing from a sustainability perspective for Switch and for its customers. We do expect to make money on it, but that is not in our guidance for '18 right now because as Tom has said, we expect that to take a bit of time to begin showing fruit. If it shows up early, that's a bonus, but it's not in our current '18 guidance.

Tim Long -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay, thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question will come from Colby Synesael with Cowen & Company.

Colby Synesael -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

Great, thank you. Your margin guidance implies 51%, whereas you did about 51.5% in 2017. I would've thought with the ability to now sell power, or unbundle power, excuse me, that happened in the midpoint of '17, that we could see margins go up in '18. I'm trying to understand why that's not happening. Maybe it's because the CORE product is becoming a greater percentage of revenue or maybe it's just the fall-off of eBay, maybe it's 100% margin, but I was hoping to get a little more color on that.

Secondly, to follow up on the CapEx question, you mentioned the two projects which equate to, based on the numbers you provided, $120 to $140 million, whereas your CapEx guidance is $260 to $310 million. I was hoping you could give us a little more specificity where the remaining CapEx dollars are going.

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

First, let me tackle the margin question and then Colby, I'm sorry, you broke up a bit on the CapEx, so I may ask you to repeat that question. But as far as our margin, we've stated for quite some time that our long-term target for EBITDA is about 51% and we use a variety of tools to manage that process, not only one the colocation pricing, but on the telecom pricing and in the future, power pricing as well.

We believe that number is a number that is sustainable for us, that is a number that keeps our customers very happy, it makes them feel like they're getting true value. We think it's a healthy number and it keeps our churn down. Our churn for this year was 0.6%. So, we essentially have no churn. That really does pay off in margin for us because we're not start each year having to find $40 million of revenue just to get to zero. That has a tremendous positive impact on Switch. As far as --

Colby Synesael -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

You're managing to the -- I'm sorry, go ahead.

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

As far as the actual number itself, yes, we're a bit above that in the back half of '17 or for the full-year of '17, but there's a couple of offsetting dynamics. In the back half of '17, we had the full advantage of becoming an unbundled purchaser of power, which lowered our power cost and boosted our margin. As we move into '18, we still have that benefit but we have a bit of an offset on having some higher SG&A cost related to being a public company, whereas in the first half of '17 we were a private company. There are just some ongoing costs associated with that. We're targeting about a 51% margin for the year and expect to be in that range.

Colby Synesael -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

Did you say you're managing the business to 51%? So that's your long-term target so that's what we should assume going forward? I just want to make sure I heard that.

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

That's correct.

Colby Synesael -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

Okay. Then on the CapEx, just to repeat it. In response to one of the questions, you mentioned Atlanta $60 to $70 million, at least I thought that's what you said. And Vegas 11 another $60 to $70 million, which is the $120 to $140 million. Obviously, guidance is much higher than that. I was just hoping you could fill out the remaining portion.

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

Yeah, we have additional spending in the Citadel as we expand in Reno. We expect $65 to $75 million there. We're continuing to expand in the Pyramid campus and there will be about $30 to $35 million there. Then we have our corporate CapEx as well. So, that's what fills out that pipeline. But the majority are the two new buildings that are being constructed -- one in Atlanta, one here in Las Vegas. That's what's boosting CapEx a bit higher than we would've expected. Just to go back to the margin point, Colby, when I talk about managing our margins, we've talked about the fact that is our long-term target.

While others have come to us and said, Switch has a superior product, why don't we charge more? Why don't we boost our margins? We think that's a bit of a short-term strategy. We could boost our margins to 55% or 60%, but our customers see that. Our customers would start making other decisions for their long-term investments and we'd rather have them stay with Switch over the long run. We believe in the karma wheel, which is our logo. We do right by our customers, they do right by us. We think that 50% to 51% range is a range that has worked for us historically, and kept our churn very well.

Colby Synesael -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

Thank you, Gabe. Thank you, Tom.

Operator

Once again, if you'd like to ask a question at this time, please press *1 now. Next, we'll take a question from Edward Parker from BTIG.

Hearing no response, we'll move on to Michael Rollins from Citi Research.

Michael Rollins -- Citi Research -- Analyst

Hi, thanks. A couple if I could. How many cabinets were billing at the end of 2017? Secondly, could you talk about the implications of tax reform, both in terms of at the UP-C level? As well as any changes to the cash distribution requirements you may reimburse your partners with. Thanks.

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

Hi, Mike. This is Gabe. I'll take that. As far as the cabinets that were billed over, we're not disclosing that quite yet. I know everyone wants to get the cabinet metrics, but there's so much of our business that is not necessarily dependent. Cabinet numbers really also depend on density and utilization. Our densities are really different than others. So, at this point, we're still not disclosing the cabinet number.

As far as tax reform, we think tax reform is a benefit for us all the way around. As a C-corp, which it does for us is obviously lowers the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. But at the partnership level, where the operations are, it also allows us to take advantage of bonus depreciation for our equipment, up to 100%, as we purchase that equipment. We don't expect to be a taxpayer in 2017. We don't expect to be a taxpayer in 2018. We think tax reform is a benefit for us.

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

This is Thomas. By lowering the individual tax rate, obviously, it lowered our tax distributions at the Ltd. level as well.

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

But as the Ltd. does not have taxable income, there will be no tax distribution to our members.

Michael Rollins -- Citi Research -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question will come from Eric Luchow from Wells Fargo.

Hearing no response, we will move on to Scott Goldman from Jefferies.

Scott Goldman -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Good afternoon. A couple questions. One, obviously churn continues to come in at very healthy levels. Just wondering how you guys look at churn in 2018? What kind of visibility do you have? Can we expect it to remain at similar levels as to what we're seeing right now? Then I guess, just on the revenue guidance, a two-part question if I could. One, what's embedded as you look at the revenue guide from a pricing versus volume standpoint? I assume volume is still the primary driver or significant driver of revenue, but just want to confirm that. Then as it relates to the $9.4 million stepdown, are you seeing that customer is operating at those minimum commitment levels? Or is there a chance that we could see them run above the minimum commitment levels that have been established as part of that contract? Thanks.

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

Hi, Scott. This is Gabe. I'll take that. As far as our churn, our visibility into churn, because we are a hyperscale colocation provider with over 800 customers, we're not dependent on any specific large contracts or large leases that may be coming up for renewal. So, our churn has averaged under 1.5% for a very long time and for the past years is now under 1%. As far as our visibility into churn in the future, we have a number of our contracts that come up for normal renewal cycles because our contracts are 3 to 5 years, but what we've found is that customers renew and expand and they don't leave.

But the main component of our churn tends to be when customers merge and we really don't have a lot of visibility into that because when two of our clients merge, as telcos often do, sometimes they'll consolidate their footprint within our facility. So, we don't have a lot of visibility into that. We really don't have customers that leave us for other facilities. That's really not a component of our churn. We expect our churn to continue to be low, as it has for years, and really provide a benefit to our stable revenue and to our ability to grow from that stable revenue base.

As far as the growth that we're guiding in '18, the vast majority of that will come from expansion of our existing customers and from new customers, as opposed to price increases. We typically raise our prices annually between 1.7% to 2.5%, and we're expecting to raise prices in that same neighborhood in 2018. But the vast majority of growth will come from expansion of both existing customers and new customers.

As far as the client's minimum monthly usage contract and what we're actually seeing, we are actually seeing that client use in an excess of their minimum monthly usage here in Las Vegas, and in our Tahoe Reno campus and the Citadel campus, that monthly usage has stepped down to the base level at the beginning of '18. They are hitting those numbers. We expect them to grow in our Tahoe Reno campus and would expect that same pattern that we're seeing here in Las Vegas.

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

This is Tom. With respect to churn, just to be very clear, we don't have any reason to expect the churn to be any different than it has been historically. We don't have any known off-puts or customers exiting or anything like that to our knowledge. So, there's no reason, to our knowledge, that empirical churn should not stay at the levels it has been.

Secondly, eBay or this customer has been meeting their minimums and though we can't forecast differently, we have no reason to believe that they will not meet or exceed the minimum deployments.

[Crosstalk]

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

We are actually exceeding that in Las Vegas?

Michael Rollins -- Citi Research -- Analyst

Okay, so in terms of what's built into your revenue guidance, is that sort of at current run-rate levels with the minimum step-ups? For example, in Reno, where they're at the base level, are you just assuming they stay at the base level with just a step-up and don't exceed at that point in time?

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

That's correct. Our guidance is based on the contractual minimums to date. So, if they exceed that, that's a bonus. As I think most of you on the phone know, we do tend to be relatively conservative in the way we run the company and in our guidance, and so we've baked in guidance at the minimum usage levels.

Mark G. Parker -- Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Understood. Thanks very much.

Operator

At this time, I show now further questions in the queue and I will turn the conference back over to Irmina Blasczyk for closing remarks.

Irmina Blasczyk -- The Blueshirt Group for Switch, Inc.

Thank you, everyone, for joining us on todays' call and we look forward to updating you next quarter.

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

Thank you, all.

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Operator

That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for your participation. You may now disconnect.

Duration: 59 minutes

Call participants:

Irmina Blasczyk -- The Blueshirt Group for Switch, Inc.

Thomas Morton -- President and General Counsel

Gabe Nacht -- Chief Financial Officer

Richard Choe -- JP Morgan -- Analyst

Sami Badri -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Frank Louthan -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Tim Long -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Colby Synesael -- Cowen & Company -- Analyst

Michael Rollins -- Citi Research -- Analyst

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