Chattanooga-based CBL earnings rise in second quarter

photo The headquarters of CBL and Associates is located next to Hamilton Place Mall in East Brainerd.

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. on Wednesday reported improved second-quarter earnings as occupancy continued to grow at its shopping center portfolio.

Funds from operations allocable to common shareholders, as adjusted, for the second quarter was $90.8 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, compared with $79.9 million, or 53 cents per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2012, the Chattanooga-based company reported after the stock market's close.

Occupancy increased to 93 percent from 92.3 percent for the prior-year period, the company said. Also, average gross rent per square foot for stabilized mall leases rose in the period, and same-store sales jumped 3.2 percent for mall tenants of 10,000 square feet or less.

"Favorable operating trends within our portfolio continued this quarter and have our company well positioned for a strong second half of the year," said Stephen Lebovitz, CBL's president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "Occupancy, leasing and funds from operations performance were healthy, with positive net operating income growth in-line with our guidance."

Same-store sales increased to $356 per square foot for mall tenants 10,000 square feet or less for stabilized malls for the rolling 12 months ended June 30 compared with the prior-year period.

For the six-month period, FFO as adjusted was $1.08 per diluted share versus $1.02 per share, according to CBL.

Looking ahead, Lebovitz said The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta, which is located in Woodstock, Ga., opened at 97 percent leased and committed. He termed the recent grand opening "a huge success, attracting overflowing crowds."

"This quarter's announcement of the acquisition of the Sears stores for redevelopment at two of our most productive malls and the commencement of construction of The Outlet Shoppes at Louisville are exciting growth opportunities as we look ahead to next year," he added.

Based on second quarter results, CBL affirmed its 2013 FFO guidance in the range of $2.18 to $2.26 per share after adjustments.

CBL's shares closed Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange at $22.77, down 55 cents, or 2.36 percent.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318.