Updated from 3:10 p.m. EST
New Plan Excel Realty Trust's
earnings for the fourth quarter fell 11% from the year-ago period, but the company's recapitalization from last summer continues to muddle year-over-year comparisons.
The real estate investment trust earned $26 million, or 24 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $29 million, or 27 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 18 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Funds from operations were $45 million, or 41 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $52 million, or 49 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting funds from operations of 40 cents a share. Earnings from continuing operations fell 12% to $27 million.
Fourth-quarter rental revenue fell 12.8% from a year ago to $108.24 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $105.95 million in the most recent quarter.
Last July, New Plan significantly repositioned itself as a REIT when it sold off $1 billion of properties to an Australian joint venture, in which it holds a 5% equity interest and from which it receives a stream of income from asset management fees. The profit from the sale resulted in a $3 special dividend paid to shareholders last year and freed up capital for New Capital to invest in new retail developments/redevelopments.
However, the company was also forced to cut its regular dividend by 24%. The recapitalization is initially dilutive, which helps explain the year-over-year drops in revenue and earnings.
During the fourth quarter, the company completed the redevelopment of 10 shopping centers and added 11 projects to its redevelopment pipeline, increasing the pipeline to 46 redevelopment projects, the aggregate cost of which is expected to be about $283.8 million.
"During 2005, we increased our assets under management by 72 properties and 9 million square feet. We also created financial flexibility with a stronger balance sheet, free cash flow and additional private capital sources," the company said. "In addition, new business transactions with our major retailers demonstrated our ability to use our infrastructure to maximize value."
TheStreet.com staff reporter Nick Yulico contributed to this report.
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