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Public Storage Earnings Rise 19% on Profit From New Developments

May 02, 2000|From Bloomberg News

Public Storage Inc., the largest owner of self-storage properties in the U.S., said Monday that first-quarter earnings rose 19%, as profit from new developments made up for a continued slowdown in rent growth.

Public Storage's funds from operations increased to $110.7 million, or 63 cents a share, from $92.6 million, or 56 cents, a year earlier. Per-share results reflect preferred dividend payments. Revenue rose to $176.6 million from $148 million.

The results matched Wall Street's expectations, according to a survey of nine analysts by First Call/Thomson Financial. Shares of Public Storage rose 56 cents to close at $22.94 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Glendale-based Public Storage owns or has a stake in 1,316 self-storage properties in 37 states. The company opened seven centers in the first quarter, and has an additional 43 under development at a cost of $135 million.

The company's holdings, worth about $4 billion on a book value basis, are triple the size of its nearest competitor, Amerco, the parent of U-Haul International Inc.

In recent years, a flood of new supply of self-storage centers has cut occupancy rates and made it harder for property owners to raise rents.

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 real estate investment trust's performance because it is used to calculate dividends.

At a Glance

Other earnings, excluding one-time gains and charges unless noted:

* Elite Information Group Inc., a Los Angeles-based maker of legal-practice-management software that is being acquired by Solution 6 Ltd. of Australia, reported first-quarter income from continued operations of $437,000, or 5 cents per share, compared with $67,000, or 1 cent, a year ago. Revenue rose to $13.3 million from $13 million. The Federal Trade Commission has requested additional information about Solution's $95.6-million merger with Elite on concerns it could reduce competition. Elite is also facing a shareholders' lawsuit to block the proposed deal.

* Los Angeles-based apparel maker Guess Inc. reported first-quarter net income of $15.4 million, or 35 cents per share, compared with $11.5 million, or 27 cents, a year ago. Revenue rose 46.3% to $188.8 million.

* Mercury General Corp., a Los Angeles-based automobile insurer with operations in a number of states, reported lower net income for the first quarter of $29 million, or 53 cents per share, compared with $40 million, or 73 cents, a year ago. Investment income in the quarter increased 6.2% to $25.5 million. The company said it handled more and larger claims in the period compared with a year ago. Analysts were expecting 64 cents per share.

* Colton-basd Stater Bros. Holdings Inc. reported a fiscal second-quarter operational loss of $6.1 million, compared with an operating profit of $13.1 million a year ago. Sales reached a record of $607.3 million compared with $441.8 million.

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