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Simon ups dividend after beating analysts' expectations

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Simon Property Group Inc. raised its quarterly dividend as funds from operations rose amid increased shopper spending at its shopping centers and outlet malls.

FFO, which gauges a real estate company’s ability to generate cash, climbed in the fourth quarter to $827.4 million, or $2.29 a share, from $678.9 million, or $1.91, a year earlier, Indianapolis-based Simon said Monday morning. The average estimate of 19 analysts in a Bloomberg survey was $2.17 a share. The company raised its quarterly dividend to $1.15 a share from $1.10.

Demand for space at regional malls is rising, helping to boost rent revenue. U.S. retail sales excluding autos advanced 4.1 percent in December from a year earlier, according to data from the Commerce Department.

Simon is the nation's biggest owner of both regional malls and outlet centers, where retailers sell at a discount.

“They’re doing very well,” Rich Moore, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in Solon, Ohio, said in an interview before results were announced. “The notion that there are bargains to be had at the outlet center is enticing to people.”

Revenue increased 15 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, to $1.34 billion. Occupancies at Simon’s U.S. properties climbed to 95.3 percent from 94.6 percent. The base minimum rent in the quarter was $40.73 a square foot, up from $39.40 a year earlier. Tenant sales rose 6.6 percent to $568 a square foot.

Earnings in the quarter fell 13 percent, to $315.4 million, or $1.01 per share, from $362.9 million, or $1.24 per share, in the prior year.

Earnings for the year rose 40 percent, to $1.43 billion, or $4.72 per share, from $1.02 billion, or $3.48 per share, in the previous year.

Annual revenue climbed 13 percent, to $4.88 billion from $4.31 billion.

For 2013, Simon Property anticipates FFO between $8.40 and $8.50 per share and earnings in a range of $3.55 to $3.65 per share. Analysts predict FFO of $8.43 per share and earnings of $3.83 per share.

Simon Property owns or has an interest in 328 retail properties in North America and Asia.

Company results were announced before the start of regular U.S. trading. Simon shares rose 1.1 percent, to $161.97 each, on Feb. 1. Its shares have advanced 19 percent in the past 12 months, compared with an 11-percent gain in the Bloomberg REIT Index.

Shares rose less the 1 percent Monday morning, to $162.90 each.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

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  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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