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Weingarten Realty Investorsannounces 2Q earnings

Houston-based REIT Weingarten Realty Investors today announced its second quarter results. Adjusting for its April 15 3-for-2 share split, Funds from Operations increased to $42.6 million, a 15.1% increase from the same period in 2001. On a diluted share basis, the increase amounted to 5.2%, rising from $.77 to $.81 per share.

Weingarten owns 297 properties in 18 southern states comprising 37.3 million sq. ft.; 89% of its revenues are generated by 239 anchored neighborhood and community shopping centers. For these properties, occupancy at the end of the second quarter diminished to 91.9%, compared to 92.8% for the same quarter of 2001. The decrease is attributed to three Kmart and two Service Merchandise stores that were vacated during the second quarter, representing approximately 370,000 sq. ft. of the retail portfolio.

On the flip side of anchor tenant vacancies, Weingarten president and CEO Drew Alexander reported that in the first six months of 2002, the company completed 584 new leases or renewals totaling 2.3 million square feet; same-store rental rates increased 9.9%. In addition, Weingarten added 11 acquisitions (1.7 million sq. ft.) to its portfolio at a cost of $161.3 million. A sign of their attractive stability, Weingarten’s acquisitions entirely comprised supermarket-anchored shopping centers.

Moreover, the company has 17 projects in various stages of development, all of which are anchored by supermarkets and/or major discount stores. These developments are located in growth markets such as Dallas and Las Vegas, where growing populations necessitate the product type.

In addition to trendmongering supermarket-anchored shopping centers, Weingarten rightfully hopped on another bandwagon this past quarter by taking advantage of current interest rates and issuing $62 million in medium-term notes. The notes were issued at a weighted average fixed rate of 5.7% and weighted average term of 8.4 years, the proceeds from which were used to pay down a preexisting $350 million revolving credit facility.

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