NEW YORK — An exhaustive and ultimately fruitless takeover bid coupled with a court’s ruling against the company pushed Simon Property Group to mixed third-quarter results.

This story first appeared in the November 3, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Meanwhile, demonstrating that a good defense doesn’t come cheaply, its takeover target, Taubman Centers, endured heavy losses during the period.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Indianapolis-based Simon said earnings fell 27.5 percent to $42.7 million, or 22 cents a diluted share. Comparatively, the company reported earnings of $59 million, or 32 cents, in the same period last year.

However, funds from operations, the more widely recognized performance indicator for real estate investment trusts, rose 2.7 percent to $190 million, or 93 cents a diluted share, against $184.7 million, or 93 cents, last year.

Total revenues climbed 4.7 percent to $566.6 million from $541.1 million last year.

According to a statement, costs associated with the bid for Taubman totaled $10.5 million, translating to a loss of 4 cents a share.

The company also let pass an opportunity to submit its own recommendations to the Taubman board, effectively ending any involvement in the company.

Results for the quarter were further hampered by a U.S. District Court of Minnesota ruling against the company regarding its 1999 restructuring transaction involving Mall of America partnerships. As reported, the court ruled that Triple Five, the company behind the founding and development of the massive mall, now has the right to purchase a 27.5 percent interest within the next nine months. In anticipation of the ruling’s impact, Simon took a $6 million special item charge during the quarter.

For the nine months to date, earnings fell 43.5 percent to $148.2 million, or 78 cents, from $262.1 million, or $1.47, last year. Funds from operations for the nine months jumped 17 percent to $564 million, or $2.78 a share, from $482.4 million, or $2.51 a share, last year. Revenue increased 8.8 percent to $1.67 billion from $1.53 billion last year.

Management also upped its profit guidance for the full year, expecting earnings per share in the range of $1.41 to $1.44 and funds from operations per share of between $4 and $4.03.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Simon recorded a net loss of $10.2 million, or 21 cents a diluted share, compared with earnings of $1.8 million, or 3 cents, last year.

Funds from operations slid 26.1 percent to 34 cents against 46 cents last year. Excluding costs related to the attempted takeover, funds from operations met consensus estimates of 41 cents.

Revenue improved 1.5 percent, reaching $168.4 million from $166 million last year.

Fighting off Simon’s hostile takeover bid cost the firm $6 million during the quarter. Robert Taubman, president and chief executive officer, said during a company conference call that the firm spent $25 million battling Simon.

For the nine months the company recorded a loss of $30.5 million, or 60 cents, compared with a loss of $831,000, or 3 cents, a year ago.

Revenue for the year jumped 10.8 percent to $518.8 million from $468.2 million last year.

Earnings for the year are expected to be between 24 cents and 45 cents.

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