Simon Property Group
, the country's largest mall owner, beat analysts' estimates with a 12% increase in its quarterly funds from operations, and the company raised its full-year guidance to meet the consensus Wall Street target.
Simon said funds from operations totaled $358.9 million in the first quarter, or $1.26 per share, compared with $319.6 million, or $1.12 per share, a year earlier. Analysts expected $1.20.
Funds from operations, a commonly used non-GAAP performance metric for REITS, adds back depreciation and amortization of properties and eliminates the gains and sales of real estate.
Simon benefited from a more than 5% increase in sales per square foot at its regional malls and outlet centers. The company's lifestyle and community centers saw a 0.5% increases in sales per square foot.
Average rents rose 2.7% at its malls and 3.9% at its outlet centers.
Simon's results were boosted by a 6% revenue increase to $787.6 million, and the firm's operating margin improved to 38%, from 36% a year earlier.
The company raised its guidance for 2006 for FFO per share of $5.25 to $5.33. Analysts expect $5.33 a share.