NEW YORK Feb 5 Apartment owner Equity
Residential said a key earnings measure rose 19 percent
in the fourth quarter, in part on higher rent and expense
Equity Residential, whose chairman and founder is real
estate mogul Sam Zell, said on Tuesday that fourth-quarter funds
from operations (FFO), excluding one-time items, rose to $243.9
million, or 75 cents a share, from $204.6 million, or 65 cents a
share, a year ago.
Funds from operations is a real estate investment trust
measure that usually removes losses and gains from property
sales and eliminates the effect of depreciation on earnings.
During the quarter, Equity Residential and smaller rival
AvalonBay Communities Inc said they would acquire
Archstone, a large apartment owner taken private in 2007, for
$6.5 billion plus the assumption of debt.
Equity Residential said it would buy 60 percent of the
assets and AvalonBay 40 percent.
Although the apartment sector has been one of the
strongest-performing in commercial real estate, it has been the
weakest when it comes to stock performance. Investors are
concerned about slowing rent increases in some major markets, as
well as the threat of oversupply in markets such as Washington
D.C. and Seattle.
For 2013, Equity Residential said it expects FFO excluding
nonrecurring items in the range of $2.80 to $2.90 per share,
while analysts forecast $2.94 a share, according to Thomson
It sees first-quarter FFO in the range of 62 to 66 cents per
share, while analysts forecast 65 cents per share.
Equity Residential reported results after the close of
trading on Tuesday. Its shares fell 0.6 percent to $54.16 during