Simon Property Beats, Raises Dividend

(Updated with analyst commentary and additional background information.)

INDIANAPOLIS ( TheStreet) -- Simon Property Group ( SPG) shares jumped 2.6% Monday morning after the shopping mall owner beat quarterly earnings expectations and increased its dividend.

"It increased guidance," noted Sandler O'Neill analyst Alexander Goldfarb. "We saw a very hefty growth of the dividend, which is constant with Simon, a very good, well-oiled machine."

Simon Property's improved performance was due in part to a 10.6% year-over-year increase in sales by the REIT's mall tenants.

Mall-owning REIT peers General Growth Properties ( GGP) and Taubman Centers ( TCO) also recently reported that its shopping center tenants enjoyed double-digit sales gains in the recent quarter.

>>11 REIT Earnings: Behind the Numbers

Real estate investment trust Simon Property raised its quarterly dividend by 33% to 80 cents per share. The new payout will be available Nov. 30 to shareholders of record on Nov. 16.

The mall owner updated its guidance for 2010 and now expects to post full-year adjusted funds from operations in a range of $5.90 to $5.95 per share, increasing the high end of its prior estimate by 8 cents per share. Funds from operations, or FFO, is a performance figure generally used by REITs to define cash flow from operations.

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