UPDATE 1-Ramco-Gershenson Q4 FFO lags view, may sell assets

Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:55pm EST

* Q4 FFO $0.29/shr vs $0.35/shr yr ago

* Sees lower end of 2010 FFO range below Street view

* Occupancy, same-store NOI hurt by bankruptcies

Feb 16 (Reuters) - Real estate investment trust Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust (RPT.N) posted quarterly funds from operations below market estimates and said it was evaluating asset sales to shore up its balance sheet in 2010.

The REIT also forecast 2010 FFO in a range, the lower end of which was below Wall Street estimates.

For full-year 2010, the retail-focused REIT expects FFO of between $1.12 a share and $1.24 a share.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to report 2010 FFO of $1.24 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Ramco-Gershenson posted FFO of $9.8 million, or 29 cents a share, compared with $7.5 million, or 35 cents a share, a year earlier.

Quarterly operating expenses dropped more than 20 percent to $29.6 million.

Analysts were expecting the company to report FFO of 30 cents a share.

FFO is a key performance measure for the REITs, because it excludes the profit-reducing effect of depreciation. However, overall portfolio occupancy, including properties under redevelopment, dropped marginally to 90.3 percent at Dec. 31, 2009, compared with 91.3 percent a year-ago.

Same-store net operating income also declined 1.7 percent for the fourth quarter, negatively impacted by the bankruptcies of Circuit City and Linen 'n' Things.

Shares of the Farmington Hills, Michigan-based REIT closed at $9.61 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Biswarup Gooptu in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)

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