July 25, 2012 / 10:25 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Equity Residential 2nd-quarter earnings measure rises

(Adds analyst forecast, outlook, details, byline)

By Ilaina Jonas

NEW YORK, July 25 (Reuters) - Apartment owner Equity Residential said on Wednesday a key earnings measure rose 15 percent in the second quarter, helped by the company’s ability to push up rents.

Equity Residential, whose chairman and founder is real estate mogul Sam Zell, said second-quarter funds from operations (FFO), excluding one-time items, rose to $215 million, or 68 cents a share, from $186.7 million, or 60 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 13.2 percent to $541.6 million.

Second-quarter FFO, excluding items, met the average of analysts’ forecast of 68 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The Chicago-based company had forecast quarterly FFO of 65 cents to 69 cents per share.

Funds from operations, or FFO, is an industry measure that usually removes losses and gains from property sales and eliminates the effect depreciation has on earnings.

For properties the company has operated for at least a year, second-quarter net operating income, an indicator of how well the properties are managed, rose 7.5 percent. The average rent rose 5.7 percent.

During the quarter, Equity Residential was outbid for a stake in Archstone, a large apartment owner taken private in 2007. Equity Residential received $150 million in termination fees of which it plans to recognize as interest and other income $70 million in the third quarter and $80 million in the fourth. These fees are non-recurring items.

For the third quarter, Equity Residential said it sees FFO, excluding non-recurring items, in the range of 70 cents per share to 74 cents per share. Analysts see third-quarter FFO of 71 cents a share.

For the year, the Chicago-based owner of 421 apartment communities sees FFO in the range of $2.73 per share to $2.78 per share, raising the bottom end of the range from $2.68 per share. The analysts average forecast is $2.72 a share.

Equity Residential shares closed at $63.49, up 3 cents, and were unchanged after-hours. (Reporting By Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Phil Berlowitz)

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