CBL focus on recovery

CBL focus on recovery

February 4th, 2010 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. Staff file photo.

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. Staff file photo.

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. reported Wednesday that most of the shopping center developer's portfolio is performing well despite the difficult economy as officials look to the recovery in 2010.

"Our performance in the fourth quarter and for the full year demonstrated the continuing stability of our portfolio," said Stephen D. Lebovitz, CBL's chief executive officer.

The Chattanooga-based real estate investment trust posted funds from operations of 62 cents per share in the fourth quarter, or $118 million. That was 12 cents per share better than the analyst consensus estimate.

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. Staff file photo.

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. Staff file photo.

The results compare to FFO allocable to common shareholders of $52.8 million a year ago, or 80 cents per share.

But, the company's latest results were reduced by a non-cash impairment of real estate of 60 cents per share. With the impairment, FFO was $2.3 million, or 2 cents per share.

The company wrote down the depreciated book value of three shopping centers to their estimated fair values, according to CBL.

Also, FFO for the quarter reflects dilution of 34 cents per share as a result of the 66.63 million shares issued in a June 2009 equity offering.

John N. Foy, CBL's vice chairman and chief financial officer, said the overwhelming majority of its properties are doing well. He said that reinforces the strength of CBL's market dominant mall strategy.

For the year, FFO was 2.52 per share, excluding the impairment, the company reported.

For 2010, CBL provided guidance of FFO of between $1.82 and $1.90 per share.

Mr. Lebovitz said officials are looking for opportunities to benefit from the economic recovery.

"We are proactively addressing upcoming debt maturities and the ongoing deleveraging of the company," he said. "As a much stronger and leaner company than a year ago, we are confident our strategic focus has positioned us for long-term success."

Katie Reinsmidt, CBL's vice president of corporate communications and investor relations, said mall occupancy grew in the fourth quarter to 91.6 percent from the third quarter.

She cited activity and openings in the Hamilton Place area.

"We've benefited from the Volkswagen plant coming in" and retailers' expectation of growth in the city, Ms. Reinsmidt said.


Hamilton Place mall

* Coach

The Terrace

* Ulta

* Academy Sports

Hamilton Corner

* Sun Tan City


Hamilton Place mall

* Tommy Hilfiger

* Charming Charlie

* MacAuthority

The Terrace


Hamilton Crossing

* Kirkland's

* Prado Bridal

Hamilton Corner

* Learning Express

* Sam Edwards Jewelers

* Complete Nutrition

Gunbarrel Pointe

* Earth Fare

* Southern Lighting