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NASHVILLE-Healthcare Realty Trust released its Q4 results Monday night. The locally-based REIT saw earnings and revenue rise in the fourth quarter, compared to the same quarter in 2007. Executives with the company, told listeners during the Q4 earnings report that the increase in healthcare employment helped make this sector profitable despite the economy.

“Despite the difficult economy outpatient medical office continues to be resilient having sound operating fundamentals that continue to follow historic positive growth trends,” said David Emery CEO.

Unlike other companies, which posted a decline in revenues during the last year, especially the second half, Healthcare Realty’s revenues for 2008 totaled $214.2 million. The company’s 2007 total revenue was $197.4 million. Revenues for the final three months of 2008 totaled $57.1 million, a nearly $7 million increase over last year’s numbers.

Healthcare Realty earned $15.6 million in Q4 2008 up from $4.6 million in Q4 2007. The $15.6 million equates to $0.27 per diluted share. This is an increase from Q4 2007 when earnings per diluted shares were $0.09.

Funds from operations increased from $0.39 per diluted share in the final quarter of 2007 to $0.49 in Q4 2008.

In December Healthcare Realty closed on a large portfolio purchase from the Carolina Health Systems. “This represents another bell weather investment relationship for Healthcare Realty with the potential for strong rental rate growth and additional long term investments,” Emery said. The company made 27 property purchases in 2008, with the majority of the $335.6 million worth of transactions happening in Q4.

Purchases during 2009 are being accessed as they come online. “We have begun to see a number of outpatient portfolios coming to market but any capital deployment by HR will likely remain tempered in the near term it is our intent to take advantage of compelling opportunities for acquisition as long as such opportunities enable us to maintain our conservative balance sheet metrics and augment our existing portfolio,” Emery said.

At year end, Healthcare Realty held interest in 198 properties and mortgages, totaling more than $2 billion worth of assets. The 192 properties the REIT owns are spread between property types, across 27 states and total roughly 11.7 million square feet.

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