NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Macerich (MAC - Get Report) shares are down 8% to $86.03 in early market trading on Friday as the company received a higher and final acquisition bid from Simon Property Group (SPG) three days after the company rejected Simon's original offer and implemented changes to its corporate structure to prevent a hostile takeover.

Simon Property Group, the country's largest mall owner, raised its bid for the company to $95.50 per share from its previous offer of $91 per share. The offer expires if Macerich does not respond to the company's bid by April 1.

The updated bid values Macerich at about $15 billion based on its outstanding shares though the deal could reach $23.2 billion in value based on Macerich outstanding debt obligations, according to Reuters. Simon Property revealed a 3.6% stake in Macerich in November.

"Macerich's decision to adopt extreme defensive measures is disappointing. We have repeatedly expressed our desire to work with Macerich to reach a mutually beneficial agreement and do not believe a protracted, multi-year proxy battle is in the interests of the shareholders of either company. We believe our offer is compelling and will deliver significant and immediate value to Macerich shareholders," said Simon Property Group CEO David Simon.

Macerich rejected Simon's other bid earlier this week saying that the offer undervalued the Santa Monica, CA-based real estate investment trust which owns 51 shopping centers across the country.  

Simon Property shares are up 1.18% to $194.12 in early market trading today.

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 a number of strengths, 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 10.0%. 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 53.59% 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 modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 10.56%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MAC Ratings Report
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