Dark Days at Macerich's Malls

Mall-owner Macherich posts a 40% plunge in second-quarter earnings as occupancy levels in its stores fall.
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) -- Darkened and shuttered stores inside the malls of America are hurting


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, which reported a 40% plunge in its second-quarter funds from operations.

The mall owner said its FFO fell to $59.9 million, or 67 cents a share, compared with $99.6 million, or $1.12 a share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding a $27 million charge for noncore assets, FFO was actually 98 cents, missing analysts' expectations by a penny.

The company also swung to a quarterly loss of $21.7 million, or 29 cents a share, as revenue slipped to $205.9 million from $217.9 million last year.

As consumers cut back on spending, the trend resulted in an 8% decline in sales per square foot to $428, while occupancy levels slipped 2.5 percentage points to 90.5%.

Shares of Macerich fell 1.5% to $19.75 in morning trading.


Simon Property

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also saw its funds from operations decline 27% to $313.1 million, or 96 cents a share, and also swung to a net loss of $20.8 million, or 8 cents a share.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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