16.9% gain at Corporate Office REIT

Funds from operations rise in 4th quarter, and by 15.2% on the year

February 02, 2002|By Eileen Ambrose | Eileen Ambrose,SUN STAFF

Corporate Office Properties Trust reported double-digit percentage gains in its funds from operations for its fourth quarter and the year.

The Columbia real estate investment trust's funds from operations, a key measure of performance, rose 16.9 percent to $11.5 million, or 34 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That compares with $9.8 million, or 31 cents per share, reported for the fourth quarter of 2000.

For the year, funds from operations, rose 15.2 percent to $43.2 million, or 1.29 per share, compared with $37.5 million, or $1.17 per share in 2000.

Net income in the quarter rose to $5.9 million from $4.08 million in 2000. For the year, net income reached $19.9 million compared with $15.1 million the previous year.

Anatole Pevnev, an analyst with McDonald Investments in Cleveland, said Corporate Office's performance was in line with expectations.

The company's dominant position in the Baltimore-Washington area, with a large defense and intelligence community, allowed it to benefit from increased defense spending after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Pevnev said.

The company said leasing activity is accelerating this year.

"Importantly, the activity is not only government and defense related, but is also coming from a broad range of industries, such as health care, insurance and banking," said President Randall M. Griffin, in a prepared statement.

The company recently expanded into Northern Virginia with the $59 million purchase of Washington Technology Park. The company owns 98 properties totaling 7.8 million rentable square feet. Its B shares closed yesterday at $26.20, up 25 cents.

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