LAFAYETTE, CA-Bedford Property Investors Inc. said Monday that third quarter funds from operations per share were $0.78, up 3% when compared with the same period in 2002, while diluted earnings per share were $0.41, a decrease of 32% by the same comparison.

At $12.69 million, third quarter FFO was essentially flat when compared to $12.66 million for the same period in 2002. Similarly, FFO for the first nine months of 2003 was just over $37.57 million or $2.29 per share compared to just under $37.57 million or $2.26 per share for the same period in 2002.

Excluding the gain on sale of operating properties, net income per diluted share was $0.41 for the third quarter of 2003, a decrease of $0.09 or 18% over the same period in 2002. Through the first three quarters of 2003, net income per diluted share (excluding the gain on sale of operating properties) was $1.32, a decrease of $0.18 or 12% over the same period in 2002.

Bedford owns and manages approximately 7.4 million sf of commercial space located in California, Arizona, Washington, Colorado and Nevada. As of Sept. 30, the company’s operating portfolio was 94% occupied.

During the third quarter the company renewed and released 376,872 sf, which represents 78% of the expiring footage. The average change in rental rates (on a cash basis) in these new leases was a decrease of 28.5%. This decrease was primarily attributable to a 49% decrease in the average rental rate of three renewals and one new lease, totaling 128,602 sf, in the Silicon Valley. Without those four transactions, the average change in rental rates (on a cash basis) would have been a decrease of 9%.

Bedford acquired two properties totaling 250,164 sf during the third quarter, a 151,830 sf bulk and R & D project in Tempe, AZ for $7.8 million and a 98,334 sf service center flex project in Las Vegas, NV for $10.95 million. Acquired in August, the properties are expected to generate an average cash yield in the first year of 9.1%.

No property sales were completed during the third quarter, but in August the company did sell $40.3 million of its 8.75% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock. Proceeds from the offering have been and will be used to finance acquisitions or development of properties and to repurchase the company’s common stock.

The company repurchased 280,100 shares of its common stock during the third quarter. Year-to-date it has repurchased 387,029 shares at an average price of $25.86. In Monday afternoon trading, the company’s share price stood at $26.15, off $0.07 on the day. The company’s 52-week high is $29.

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