WASHINGTON, DC-The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) reports that, in comparison to last year’s third quarter numbers, REITs and publicly traded real estate groups are reaping the rewards of an increase in this year’s third quarter funds. The earnings include funds from operations (FFO) and earnings per share for real estate stocks.

REITs and publicly traded real estate companies show a 6.7% FFO per share growth. That number does not include real estate lodging firms, as those companies were drastically crippled by the devastation from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Including those firms would have made for an inaccurate comparison. Specialty, self-storage and retail real estate groups prove to be the top performing sectors overall for the quarter. “FFO per share growth remained positive during an otherwise dismal third quarter earnings season elsewhere in corporate America,” says NAREIT Senior Vice President for Research and Investment Affairs Michael R. Grupe. “Preliminary reports indicate that corporate profits overall declined more than 20% on average in the third quarter.” NAREIT surveyed the 143 real estate companies that had submitted their earnings numbers by November 14.

The NAREIT report also compares income from continuing operations, and finds a 1.3% increase in those funds per share for real estate stocks. When using continuing operations income as a measuring stick, mortgage and real estate operating firms are the highest performers. Lodging REITs and companies are also left out of this calculation, which includes data from 126 companies.

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