Equity Residential first-quarter FFO beats Street

Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:36pm EDT

(Reuters) - Apartment owner Equity Residential (EQR.N) said a first-quarter key earnings measure fell 56 percent chiefly on costs related to its share of the acquisition of former rival Archstone.

Equity Residential said on Tuesday that first-quarter funds from operations (FFO) fell to $79.1 million, or 22 cents a share, from $188.3 million, or 60 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Excluding more than $136 million of costs related to the Archstone acquisition, the company reported FFO of $226.2 million, or 64 cents a share, up from $191.9 million, or 61 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter.

The average of analysts' forecasts was 63 cents per share, excluding the items, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Funds from operations is a real estate investment trust(REIT) measure that usually removes losses and gains from property sales and eliminates the effect of depreciation on earnings.

Equity Residential, whose chairman and founder is real estate mogul Sam Zell, closed during the quarter on its 60 percent share of the $6.5 billion acquisition of Archstone from Lehman Brothers Holding Co. Including the assumption of debt, the acquisition was valued at about $16 billion, of which Equity Residential's portion was $9 billion.

Revenue for properties the company has operated for at least a year grew 5.1 percent in the quarter. Net operating income, which reflects how well the properties are being managed, rose 6.3 percent.

For 2013, Equity Residential maintained its forecast for the year for FFO, excluding nonrecurring items, in the range of $2.80 to $2.90 per share. Analysts see $2.84 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Chicago-based company sees second-quarter FFO, excluding items, in the range of 67 cents to 71 cents per share, while analysts forecast 71 cents per share.

Equity Residential reported results after the close of trading on Tuesday. Its shares rose 1.5 percent, or 85 cents, to $58.06 during the session.

(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)