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Simon Property Fourth-Quarter Earnings Beat Analysts’ Estimates

Simon Property Group Inc., the largest U.S. shopping-mall owner, reported a 8.1 percent increase in fourth-quarter funds from operations as retailer demand for space in outlet centers climbed.

FFO, which gauges a property company’s ability to generate cash, rose to $894.8 million, or $2.47 a share, from $827.4 million, or $2.29, a year earlier, the Indianapolis-based real estate investment trust said today in a statement. The average of 22 analyst estimates was $2.43 a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The REIT declared a $1.25 per share dividend, up from $1.20 for the previous three months and 8.7 percent more than a year earlier, according to the statement.

Simon is benefiting as retailers seek space in outlet centers, where brand-name items are sold at a discount. The company today forecast FFO per share of $9.50 to $9.60 for this year.

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