Vornado Realty second-quarter profit rises

NEW YORK Mon Aug 5, 2013 6:48pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Vornado Realty Trust (VNO.N) on Monday said profit rose for the second quarter, as the value of its investment increased in J.C. Penney Company, Inc (JCP.N) department stores, offsetting a wider loss from its stake in toy store chain Toys R Us.

The company, owner of office buildings and retail properties chiefly in New York and Washington, reported quarterly funds from operations of $235.3 million, or $1.25 per share, compared with $166.7 million or 89 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Funds from operations, or FFO, is a real estate investment trust performance measure that usually excludes gains or losses from property sales and removes the effect depreciation has on earnings.

The company has been focusing on its core strategy of owning office and retail properties, and selling off stakes in outside companies such as retailer J.C. Penney. In April, Vornado and its partners closed on the sale of mortgage special servicer LNR, for $1.05 billion, with Vornado receiving net proceeds of $241 million for its 26.2 percent stake.

During the quarter, Vornado recorded a mark-to-market value increase of its investment in J.C. Penney derivatives of $9 million, up from a loss of $58.7 million a year earlier. Still, it recorded a FFO loss for the quarter of its one-third stake in Toys R Us, which ballooned to $25.1 million from a loss of $7.7 million a year earlier.

Vornado said cash earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) from its core New York office properties that the company has owned for at least a year rose 8.8 percent on a cash basis compared with a year earlier and was 9.8 percent higher than the first quarter. Weakness in the Washington office market continued, with same-store EBITDA falling 5.9 percent compared with a year earlier.

EBITDA for its retail properties rose 4.2 percent.

Shares of Vornado closed up 24 cents at $83.62.

(Reporting by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by David Gregorio and Diane Craft)