Duke funds miss expectations

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Duke Realty Corp. reported late yesterday that it earned $89.2 million, or 58 cents per share, in funds from operations in the first quarter.

The funds were down 4 cents from a year earlier and short of the 62 cents expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Duke attributed the result to the sale of undeveloped land in the first quarter of 2007, which added 9 cents to funds from operation.

Funds from operations is a common measure of real estate investment trusts like Indianapolis-based Duke, a commercial real estate company.

Profit fell to 3 cents from the 49 cents generated a year earlier. The year-ago period was helped by 32 cents of capital gains from selling rental properties.

CEO Denny Oklak said Duke operated solidly in the most recent quarter. About 1.5 million more square feet were leased than in the year-ago quarter, and 2.7 million square feet of rent was renewed. The average rent increase came to nearly 7 percent.

Duke shares this morning fell 12 cents to $24.30.

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