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Plum Creek: REIT Broker Action

Brookfield Properties

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Brookfield Properties (BPO)

Company Profile: Toronto, Canada-based Brookfield Properties is a commercial real estate company, which is engaged in the ownership, development and management of premier commercial office properties in select cities and in the development of residential land.

Among Paolone's other upgrades, Brookfield Properties was upgraded to neutral, from underweight, and its price target was lifted by $2 to $17.

Brookfield Properties, also a commercial office REIT, recently posted a 37% jump in third-quarter funds from operations as it was able to lease more space to its commercial tenants. Funds from operations, or FFO, is a performance figure generally used by REITs to define cash flow from operations. Occupancy increased to 95.1%, up 30 basis points from the previous quarter.

Brookfield Properties was upgraded based on Paolone's view that the company's central business district office portfolio "should drive above-average core growth in the next couple of years, its balance sheet issues are behind it, and the sale of the residential business helps simplify the story."

"We believe these items should narrow BPO's 20-30% multiple gap relative to its NYC office REIT peers (based on FFO and AFFO). The Bank of America/Merrill Lynch lease at the World Financial Center remains a key risk (a potential 8 cents FFO/share hit, by our estimates) but should be largely priced into the stock."

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