NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Macerich (MAC - Get Report) shares are climbing, up 5.17% to $88.13, in trading on Thursday following reports that mall owner Simon Property Group (SPG) has made overtures to purchase the company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reported that Simon Property Group approached Macerich about a possible purchase in the past few weeks, continuing the interest in showed about acquiring the real estate investment trust late last year, though it has not made a formal offer.

Simon previously announced a 3.6% stake in Macerich in November with interest to purchase more of the company saying that it was seeking to waive a provision that caps any ownership stake in Macerich at 5%.

Simon Property Group shares are showing volatility in trading today, though the stock is currently up 0.05% to $187.65.

TheStreet Ratings team rates MACERICH CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MACERICH CO (MAC) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • MAC's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, MACERICH CO's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 13685.71% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 35.89% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, MAC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 886.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $144.88 million to $1,429.22 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $103.80 million or 11.39% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MACERICH CO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -43.90%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MAC Ratings Report