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Simon Property, Mall REITs Up on Retail Sales

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Simon Property Group (SPG - Get Report), General Growth Properties (GGP - Get Report) and Kimco Realty (KIM - Get Report) were among the real estate investment trusts trading higher Thursday following a round of stronger-than-expected retail sales.

Retail same-store sales expectations for June were mediocre heading into Thursday's results, but so far companies have been topping forecasts .

Standard & Poor's Equity Research REITs analyst Robert McMillan noted that "several retailers reported surprisingly strong retail sales."

Strong retail sales bode well for REITs that invest in shopping malls and community shopping centers.

Positive results on Thursday allowed McMillan to raise his 12-month price target on Simon Property Group by $10 to $135 "in anticipation that demand for space in SPG's centers and rents will continue to increase over the next 12-18 months."

Shares of Simon Property rose 1% to $121.43 on Thursday. Kimco gained 1.2% to $19.31 and General Growth added almost 2% to $17.28.

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