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Kimco Earnings Rise

It beats estimates and raises the low end of guidance.
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said fourth-quarter earnings and funds from operations rose from a year ago and the shopping-center real-estate investment trust raised the low end of its 2006 guidance.

Kimco earned $107.7 million, or 45 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $75.8 million, or 32 cents a share, last year. Funds from operations rose 23% from a year ago to $127.5 million, or 55 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting FFO of 51 cents a share.

Revenue rose 12% from a year ago to $137 million. Analysts were forecasting revenue of $135.2 million, according to Thomson First Call.

"During the quarter, Kimco's parent portfolio occupancy increased to 94.6% from 94.2% at Sept. 30, 2005, and 93.6% a year earlier. Kimco's occupancy is the highest level in company history. For the quarter, Kimco signed 139 new leases in the portfolio totaling 936,000 square feet and 85 lease renewals totaling 462,000 square feet," the company said.

"The average increase in base rent for new leases signed for same-space leases was 18.7% and 12.2% for the quarter and 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2005, respectively. Occupancy in the company's combined operating portfolio encompassing approximately 109.5 million square feet of gross leasable area was 95.1%, 40 basis points higher than a year ago."

For 2006, Kimco expects to produce funds from operations of $2.12 to $2.16 a share. The guidance reflects a revision to a previous estimate of $2.09 to $2.16 a share, given last quarter. Analysts are forecasting $2.13 a share in the period.