UPDATE 1-LaSalle Hotel Q4 FFO edges past Wall Street view

Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:24pm EST

* Says agreed to buy Washington hotel on Feb. 8

* Q4 FFO $0.25 vs est. $0.24

* Q4 revPAR down 11 pct

* Sees 2010 revPAR down 4 pct-6 pct

Feb 25 (Reuters) - Lodging real estate investment trust LaSalle Hotel Properties (LHO.N) reported slightly better-than-expected fourth-quarter funds from operations, helped by lower expenses, and said it agreed to buy the Sofitel Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., for $95 million.

The company also said it expects revenue per available room (revPAR) to decline to 4 percent to 6 percent in 2010.

LaSalle said it agreed on Feb. 8 to acquire the Sofitel, a full service hotel two blocks from the White House, but did not say when the deal is expected to close.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported funds from operations (FFO) of 25 cents a share.

Analysts on average expected FFO of 24 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue fell 10 percent to $142 million, with revPAR down 11 percent, dragged down by a 11.6 percent decrease in average daily rates, while occupancy increased 0.7 percent.

Funds from operations, a widely accepted measure of real estate investment trust performance, removes the profit-reducing effects of depreciation, while revPAR is a key metric of lodging industry performance based on occupancy and room rates.

Total hotel operating expenses fell 8 percent.

Shares of the company closed at $19.94 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Abhishek Takle in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)

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