Duke results meet analyst expectations-WEB ONLY

Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp. late yesterday reported first-quarter results in line with analyst expectations and detailed an ongoing plan to strengthen its balance sheet.

The office, industrial and health care developer reported funds from operations – a common performance measure for real estate investment trusts – of $110.6 million, or 71 cents per share. Excluding $33.1 million in gains from the repurchase of Duke bonds, that figure dropped to $77.6 million, or 50 cents per share.

Net income for the quarter was 15 cents per share, compared to 2 cents during the same quarter last year, a rise mainly resulting from the bond gains, the company said.

Revenue from continuing operations for the quarter increased to $237.9 million, up from $226.5 million in the previous year’s quarter.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Duke to report funds from operations of 50 cents per share on revenue of $219.39 million. Analyst estimates typically exclude special items.

Duke provided several updates on its liquidity strategy. Actions include the sale this month of more than 75 million new shares to raise $575 million, the purchase of $170 million of the company’s debt for $131 million and more than $400 million in new loans secured by office and industrial assets. The company said it still has about $5.7 billion of properties with no debt.

Occupancy at Duke’s stabilized properties fell to 89.7 percent from 92.4 percent over the span of the first quarter, a drop the company blamed on the addition of five new properties that are only 49-percent occupied.

Earlier this month, Duke announced plans to cut its dividend 32 percent, to 17 cents per quarter.

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