Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Liberty Property Trust posts $52.1M 4Q loss

"Local real estate investment trust Liberty Property Trust, in Malvern, said yesterday that it lost $52.1 million in the fourth quarter last year, compared with a profit of $52 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
The Philadelphia office and warehouse landlord earned $56.4 million for the full year 2009, compared with earnings of $152 million in 2008.

The company said the quarterly net loss was 46 cents per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with net income of 53 cents a share for the quarter a year earlier.

For the full year 2009, Liberty Trust posted a profit of 52 cents per share, compared with $1.62 a share for 2008.

The company posted a noncash impairment charge of $94.5 million in the quarter related to investments in unconsolidated joint ventures and related goodwill.

"Fourth quarter activity was encouraging," chief executive officer Bill Hankowsky said. "At the end of the year, we saw a marked increase in the number and quality of industrial prospects, coupled with renewed willingness on the part of companies to make commitments, to both the office and industrial sectors."

Hankowsky added, "This translated into very strong leasing performance. We believe that the market has bottomed, we are beginning to see very gradual recovery in the industrial sector, and we may see similar positive signs in the office sector in the second half of this year, should the nation's employment situation improve."

Liberty has 78 million square feet encompasses more than 700 properties and 2,000 tenants.

Shares fell 22 cents, or 0.76 percent, to $28.91 on the New York Stock Exchange."

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