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HCP's 4Q funds from operations, profit soar

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- HCP Inc., a real estate investment trust that focuses on health care facilities, said Tuesday its funds from operations more than doubled in the fourth quarter, as rental and related revenues climbed.

The Long Beach, Calif., company recorded funds from operations of $321.5 million, or 71 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That compares to $150.6 million, or 37 cents per share, in the final quarter of 2011. Not counting merger-related costs, adjusted funds from operations totaled 72 cents per share.

Funds from operations, or FFO, adds items like amortization and depreciation to net income, and it is considered key to measuring the financial performance of real estate investment trusts.

The company's total revenue climbed 11 percent to $508.5 million from $458.3 million.

Analysts expected, on average, FFO totaling 71 cents per share on $488.6 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Net income more than tripled to $239.9 million, or 53 cents per share, compared to $62 million, or 15 cents per share, a year ago when a $125 million charge for a legal settlement affected its performance.

The company said its fourth-quarter earnings include real estate sales gains of $28 million and $3 million, respectively, in the final quarters of 2012 and 2011.

For 2013, the company forecasts funds from operations ranging from $2.92 to $2.98 per share. Analysts expect, on average, FFO of $2.98 per share.

HCP's portfolio includes senior housing, skilled nursing, medical offices and hospitals. It had $10.89 billion in real estate assets at the end of the quarter, compared to $9.28 billion in the final quarter of 2011.

The company's stock fell 8 cents to $46.83 in midday trading Tuesday. Its shares have ranged from $37.81 to $47.75 over the past year.