Simon posts strong quarter, stock rises

Indianapolis-based shopping mall owner Simon Property Group’s fourth-quarter funds from operations increased 12.7 percent, to $507.7 million, the company said today, despite writing off a loss on an Arizona development.

Funds from operations, which excludes depreciation and land sales, is a common measure of real estate investment trusts like Simon.

Simon’s $1.76-per-share results surpassed the $1.66 expected by analysts surveyed by Reuters.

Profit fell nearly 45 percent to $112.9 million due to asset sales and the charge on the Arizona master planned community.

Simon said in December that it had lost $26 million on the joint venture with luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. The 5,485-acre project had been a test site for Daimler Chrysler Corp.

Simon shares climbed 2.5 percent this morning to $91.64.

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