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GREENSBORO, NC-The early repayment of a $77.4 million mortgage helped earn Tanger Factory Outlet Centers an upgrade of its Standard & Poors rating, in a move that pushed the company to an investment grade rating of BBB-, Tanger has announced.The upgrade comes just four months after Moody’s Investment Services gave Tanger an investment grade rating of BAA3.

The upgrade puts the owner, developer and manager of factory outlet centers in a better position to further fulfill its expansion goals, including the pre-development and leasing of four centers in Charleston, SC, Wisconsin Dells, WI, Pittsburgh and Deer Park, NY, all of which are expected to be completed in 2007.

In a conference call on its third quarter earnings Friday, Tanger, reported earnings of $17.3 million, or 50 cents per share for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2005, an increase of more than $2 million compared to the same quarter in 2004. Since the beginning of the year, the company has earned $47.6 million or $1.40 per share compared to the same period last year when earnings were $45.3 million or $1.36 per share.

“Our third quarter results came in as expected,” Stanley K. Tanger, board chairman and chief executive officer, said in announcing the quarterly results. “Operating measures continue to be strong as same-center net operating income increased 6.8% during the third quarter of 2005, continuing the positive momentum experienced in the first half of the year.”

The company, which owns or manages 33 centers in 22 states totaling approximately 8.7 million sf, said it also issued three million common shares of stock during the quarter, leased up more than 1.3 million sf of space while retaining occupancy levels in its portfolio of 97 % and added a total of 67,000 sf of expanded space to its centers in Locust Grove, GA and Foley, AL.

On tap for the fourth quarter, the company said, is the $282.5 million acquisition of the remainder of a portfolio belonging to Charter Oaks, which will increase Tanger’s holdings by 66% from 4.9 million sf to 8.2 million sf.

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