Duke Realty reports stronger-than-expected first quarter

Duke Realty Corp. on Wednesday reported first quarter financial results that exceeded Wall Street expectations.

The Indianapolis-based real estate investment trust reported funds from operations of $111.4 million, or 31 cents per share, in the quarter. Funds from operations, or FFO, is a closely watched measure in the REIT industry. It takes net income and adds back items such as depreciation and amortization.

The average prediction of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for FFO of 30 cents per share.

Duke reported revenue of $234.6 million in the period, up from $181,075 in the first period of 2017. The revenue figure also beat Wall Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $183.8 million.

The company turned a profit of $73.6 million, or 20 cents per share, up from $70.9 million, or 20 cents per share, a year ago.

For the current quarter ending in July, Duke said it now expects its per-share funds from operations to range from $1.26 to $1.34, up from a previous range of $1.24 to $1.32.

Duke CEO Jim Connor said “strong leasing activity” highlighted the first quarter, with the execution of 6.9 million square feet in total leases.

The company re-leased 94 percent of it expiring leases, with 68 percent coming from leases renewals and the rest from backfills.

Duke closed on $170 million in building dispositions in the quarter and acquired two industrial buildings totaling 119,000 square feet in the Los Angeles area.

Shares in Duke rose 2.4 percent, to $26.59 each, on Thursday morning.

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