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Public Storage's Profit Rises 31% as Rents Offset Losses

October 30, 1998|From Bloomberg News

Public Storage Inc., the largest owner of self-storage properties in the U.S., said Thursday that third-quarter earnings rose 31% as higher rents offset losses at its new pick-up-and-delivery service.

Public Storage, a real estate investment trust, said funds from operations rose to $70.3 million, or 60 cents a share, from $53.7 million, or 50 cents, a year earlier. The results matched Wall Street's expectations of 60 cents a share, according to a survey of 11 analysts by First Call Corp.

The Glendale-based company's revenue rose 19% to $150 million from $126 million.

Public Storage owns or has a stake in 1,089 self-storage properties in 37 states. Its 64 million square feet of space is almost triple that of its nearest competitor, Amerco, the parent of U-Haul International Inc.

Shares of Public Storage fell 13 cents to close at $26.88 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Public Storage said average rents rose 9.1% to $10.08 a square foot, while average occupancy rates were unchanged at 93.6%. Rents in the second quarter rose 8.1%.

Public Storage said it doesn't expect increases in occupancy rates and expects smaller increases in rents. It didn't elaborate.

The company's pick-up-and-delivery service, which delivers storage crates to and from customers' homes, lost $6.93 million, or 6 cents a share, for the quarter, down from $12.1 million, or 12 cents, a year ago.

Funds from operations, a measure of cash flow, generally is defined as net income plus depreciation and before any extraordinary items. This figure is considered the best measure of a REIT's performance because it's used to calculate dividends.

Net income for the quarter rose to $62.3 million, or 37 cents a diluted share, from $46.5 million, or 27 cents.

At a Glance:

* Big Dog Holdings Inc., the Santa Barbara-based apparel retailer, reported third-quarter net income of $2.4 million, or 20 cents per share, compared with net income of $1.6 million, or 15 cents, a year ago. Revenue rose 18% to $28.4 million, compared with $24.1 million in 1997.

* IDG Books Worldwide Inc., Foster City-based publisher of the "Dummies" book series, reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $1.4 million, or 10 cents per share, compared with net income of $882,000, or 8 cents a year ago. Revenue for the quarter was $35.3 million versus $32 million in 1997. IDG went public in July.

* Sunnyvale-based Infoseek Corp. reported a larger-than-expected third-quarter loss, exacerbated by the No. 3 Internet search company's 66% increase in expenses. The loss was $2.6 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with a loss of $5 million, or 19 cents, a year earlier. Infoseek was expected to lose 6 cents. Revenue more than doubled to $19.2 million from $8.4 million.

* Los Angeles-based Kilroy Realty Corp. reported third-quarter funds from operations of $18.4 million, or 58 cents per share, up from $11.2 million, or 51 cents, a year ago. Net income rose to $10 million, or 36 cents, up from $6.5 million, or 34 cents, last year. Revenue totaled $34.5 million, compared with $19.1 million a year ago.

* North Face Inc. said third-quarter profit rose 12% on higher sales of its outdoor clothing and gear in the U.S., which helped offset lower revenue from its Asian business. Profit before charges rose to $12.1 million, or 95 cents a share, from net income of $10.8 million, or 92 cents, in the year-ago quarter. San Leandro-based North Face was expected to earn $1.03 a share. Revenue rose 19% to $103.8 million from $87 million.

* Odwalla Inc. reported fiscal fourth-quarter operating income, excluding recall and related costs, of $255,000, or 3 cents per share, contrasted with an operating loss of $933,000, or 16 cents, a year ago. During the quarter, the Half Moon Bay-based organic juice supplier reached a settlement with the federal government stemming from a 1996 recall of its unpasteurized apple juice. Revenue for the quarter was $15.3 million, versus $13.6 million a year ago.

* Westfield America Inc., the fourth-largest owner of shopping malls in the U.S., said third-quarter earnings rose 18%, helped by acquisitions and leasing sales. The Los Angeles-based company, a real estate investment trust, said funds from operations rose to $36.1 million, or 41 cents a share, from $30.6 million, or 38 cents, in the year-earlier period. That matched estimates.

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