NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Kimco Realty (KIM) - Get Kimco Realty Corporation (KIM) Report is continuing to simplify its business model by reducing the number of properties in joint ventures and its exposure to Latin America.

In its recent earnings release the shopping center real estate investment trust said it had purchased 15 Kimco-managed joint venture properties from partners for a total of $501.2 million, disposed of six joint venture properties for a gross sales price of $40.5 million and sold a nine-property retail portfolio in Mexico for a gross sales price of $222 million.

Additionally, Kimco is continuing to beef up its high-quality U.S. retail portfolio by acquiring 26 retail properties  -- including a 24-property portfolio primarily in the greater Boston area -- for a gross price of $392.8 million.

The company's operating results are getting stronger as it focuses on one asset class. In the first quarter Kimco reported funds from operations (or FFO) of 34 cents per diluted share compared to 33 cents per diluted share for the same period in 2013. Kimco's U.S. same-property net operating income (or NOI) increased 2% over the prior year. Kimco's pro-rata occupancy increased 100 basis points in the U.S. shopping center portfolio to 94.7%, and 90 basis points in the combined shopping center portfolio to 94.5% compared to the first quarter of 2013.

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I recently caught up with Kimco CEO David Henry to discuss some of the company's transformation strategies in hopes of offering insight into the decisions being made by the world's largest shopping center REIT. This interview was conducted at the International Council of Shopping Center's annual ReCon event in Las Vegas.  Click on the link above to view it.

For more information of Kimco and other REITs, check out The Intelligent REIT Investor.

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At the time of publication the author had a position in KIM.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.