PHILADELPHIA-RAIT Financial Trust posted a $243.6-million loss in the third quarter of this year, compared with a profit of $18.4 million in the same quarter a year ago. The culprits are borrowers in the residential mortgage and homebuilder sectors, which have been hard hit by the current credit-market turbulence and caused RAIT nearly $343 million in impairments in the recent quarter.

Despite the loss, revenue rose to $56 million, up from $26.5 million in the prior-year quarter. The locally based REIT paid down $700 million of short-term borrowing during the quarter in a measure Daniel Cohen, CEO, called “prudent to retain some adjusted earnings.”

The company had $176.6 million of available cash, $441 million of restricted cash, and $81 million of unused capacity under commercial bank facilities on Sept. 30. “We have resumed lending in fourth quarter,” Cohen said during a conference call, adding, “we anticipate slower growth, but growth.” He also said the company continues to monitor its borrowers carefully.

During the call, Betsy Cohen, chairman, said the company is looking to “a variety of sources for continuing funding. We’re developing new programs and alternative structures,” she said, adding that RAIT would add “more clarity” about these programs in this year’s closing quarter.

Following the conference call, shares of RAS common stock on the NYSE rose 7% to close at $8.04 a share on Nov. 5, which otherwise was a down day for the exchange. The 52-week low of $4.82 per RAS share occurred this Aug. 6 and compares with a 52-week high of $38.25 this Feb. 7.

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