UPDATE 1-Weingarten Realty Investors Q4 FFO jumps

Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:41pm EST

* Q4 FFO $0.42/shr vs $0.15/shr year ago

* Sees 2010 FFO of $1.58-$1.70/shr

Feb 24 (Reuters) - Real estate investment trust Weingarten Realty Investors' (WRI.N) fourth-quarter funds from operations (FFO) jumped more than four fold, helped by a drop in expenses.

For fiscal 2010, the company forecast FFO of $1.58 to $1.70 per share. Analysts on average were expecting FFO of $1.66 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Fourth-quarter FFO was $51.6 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with $12.7 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding items, the company reported FFO of 44 cents a share.

Analysts were expecting FFO of 41 cents a share.

The commercial real estate owner, manager and developer cut its total expenses by 40 percent to $89.2 million.

FFO is a key performance measure for real estate investment trusts, or REITs, because it excludes the profit-reducing effect of depreciation.

Shares of the Houston-based company closed at $20.34 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Fareha Khan in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)