Highwoods Properties, the largest suburban office landlord in the Southeast, reported first-quarter results late Wednesday that narrowly beat Wall Street estimates.
The Raleigh real estate investment trust's 35 million square-foot portfolio was 87.8 percent occupied at the end of the year, down from 88.8 percent occupied in the four quarter.
Highwoods reported funds from operations, a profitability measure for REITs, of 61 cents per share, compared with 70 cents per share in the first quarter of 2009.
The company's FFO was just slightly above the average estimate of analysts who follow the company. It remains within the range of the company's FFO guidance for the year of between $2.31 to $2.49 per share.
"We continue to outperform in our core markets, with occupancy in our office portfolio exceeding market occupancy by 680 basis points at quarter end," said Ed Fritsch, Highwoods chief executive, in a statement. "This is a reflection of the improvements made to our portfolio over the past five years, the hard work of our leasing team and our strong balance sheet, which gives us a distinct advantage over our local competition."
Highwoods stock closed today at $32.55, up 10 cents. The stock has risen 18 percent since Feb. 10.