Cousins Reports Mixed Results

Cousins Properties Inc. (CUZ) reported first quarter 2011 FFO (fund from operations) of $8.1 million or 8 cents per share, compared with $14.0 million or 14 cents in the year-earlier quarter.

Funds from operations, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, is obtained after adding depreciation, amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

Excluding certain non-recurring items, recurring FFO for the reported quarter was 11 cents per share. The recurring FFO was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Total revenues were $48.9 million during the quarter versus $67.2 million in the year-ago period. Total revenues for the reported quarter were well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $37 million.

During the quarter, Cousins Properties executed strong leasing activities spanning 113,000 square feet of office space and 165,000 square feet of retail space. Total leased space during the quarter for office properties increased 92% compared with 88.0% from the prior year period.

Retail space increased 87.0% in the current quarter compared with 85.0% from the year earlier quarter. Industrial space increased 96% compared with 64% in the prior-year period.

Cousins Properties is currently shoring up its balance sheet and increasing liquidity by selling non-core assets. At the same time, the company remains focused on leasing activities and intends to maintain steady occupancy levels across its portfolio. Cousins Properties sold Jefferson Mill Business Park Building A for $22.0 million.

In the first quarter 2011, Cousins Properties realized gains of $246,000 from the sale of 61 lots and 20 acre of residential land. Also the company  has finalized its exit from the residential condominium business.  At the quarter end, Cousins Properties had cash and cash equivalents of $5.1 million.

Cousins Properties currently retain a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. We are also maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. One of its competitors, Duke Realty Corp. (DRE) currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.

COUSIN PROP INC (CUZ): Free Stock Analysis Report

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