Simon misses analyst predictions, but reports stable mall occupancy

Simon Property Group Inc. on Thursday reported quarterly financial results that fell short of analyst predictions.

The real estate investment trust, based in Indianapolis, said it had funds from operations of $985 million, or $2.74 per share, in the period. FFO is a closely watched measure in the REIT industry that takes profit and adds back items such as depreciation and amortization.

The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for Simon to post FFO of $2.76 per share.

The shopping mall giant reported revenue of $1.35 billion in the period, up slightly from $1.34 billion in the same quarter of 2016.

The revenue figure topped Wall Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected revenue of $1.32 billion.

Simon reported quarterly profit of $477.7 million, or $1.53 per share, down from almost $481 million, or $1.55 per share.

Occupancy at Simon’s U.S. malls and outlet centers was 95.6 percent as of March 31, unchanged from a year ago. Base minimum rent per square foot was $51.87, an increase of 4.4 percent compared to the prior-year period.

Simon Property reaffirmed guidance for FFO to be $11.45 to $11.55 per share this year and profit to be a range of $6.50 to $6.60 per diluted share.

"We are off to a good start in 2017 with the reporting of financial and operational results that exceeded our expectations…” CEO David Simon said in written remarks. “Today, even in the current choppy retail environment, we are pleased to reaffirm our outlook for the year, which is a testament to the strength of our company."

Simon shares were up 1.7 percent in Thursday morning trading, to $167.79 each, but have declined 19 percent in the year.

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