, a real estate investment trust, said earnings for the fourth quarter fell 21.1% from the year-ago period. The company earned $23.6 million, or 39 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $29.9 million, or 51 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $19.2 million, or 37 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Funds from operations rose 18.2% to $105.8 million, or $1.32 a share, in the quarter, compared with $89.5 million, or $1.16 a share.
Fourth-quarter revenue rose 37.8% from a year ago to $224.2 million. Adjusted for items, revenue rose 36% from a year ago to $226.9 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $207.9 million in the most recent quarter.
For the fiscal 2006, the company expects to earn $1.24 a share to $1.34 a share and fund from operations of $4.50 a share to $4.60 a share. Analysts were forecasting earnings of $1.23 a share.
The decline in earnings for the most recent quarter was mainly due to a large drop in gain on sale of real estate assets compared with the period, a year ago. Earnings were also hurt by a $1.7 million prepayment penalty which the company incurred on refinancing of the mortgage on Valley View Mall.
"The quarter was highlighted by another quarter of double digit growth in FFO per share. We continue to see very strong fundamentals in our business with high occupancy levels and solid leasing activity. This was illustrated by good leasing volume and excellent releasing spreads. Our recent equity offering was very well received and the proceeds have allowed us to significantly strengthen our balance sheet and be in position to take advantage of the pipeline of development and redevelopment opportunities in our existing portfolio," the company said.
On Tuesday, Macerich fell 36 cents to $69.54.
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