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Real estate fund GGP posts 3Q profit

CHICAGO (AP) -- General Growth Properties Inc. reported Monday that a key measure of profitability increased 22 percent in the third quarter as the shopping center operator cut costs.

The Chicago-based real estate investment trust said that funds from operations rose to $282.6 million, or 29 cents per share, from $230.8 million, or 23 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected 27 cents per share.

General Growth forecast that the figure for the fourth quarter would be 34 to 36 cents, bracketing analysts' expectations.

The funds figure is a closely watched measure in the REIT industry. It takes net income and adds back items such as depreciation and amortization.

The company reported third-quarter net income of $23.5 million, or 2 cents per share, after preferred stock dividends. That compared with a loss of $207.9 million, or 23 cents per share, a year earlier, when the company had $123.4 million in warrant-liability adjustments.

Revenue was nearly unchanged, at $620.7 million from $622.8 million. Analysts expected $618.5 million.

The company cut expenses by 10 percent to $423.3 million.

The company also raised its quarterly dividend by a penny to 14 cents. It's payable Jan. 2 to shareholders as of Dec. 13.

The shares closed down a penny at $21.33. In extended trading, they were down 13 cents to $21.20.