mall REITs once again outperformed other sectors in the fourth quarter of 2010. Out of the sector's seven REITs, five beat consensus analyst estimates, by up to $0.09 per share. Only two companies—Macerich Co. and Glimcher Realty Trust—missed, by a penny.
What's more, everyone posted occupancy increases, inching well into the mid-90s.
“Malls have been the top performer so far this earnings season,” wrote Rich Moore, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, in a Feb. 15 note.
“The strength in the retail sectors has been particularly apparent, and retail is poised, in our view, to be a strong performer in the next several quarters.”
As of Feb. 15, half of all REITs tracked by RBC beat analyst estimates, while 18.4 percent came in line with expectations. Approximately 31.6 percent of the companies missed. RBC covers 38 REITs in various sectors.
By comparison, in the regional mall sector, about 71 percent of the REITs beat estimates for the fourth quarter.
One area where the regional mall players still seem to be experiencing some trouble is NOI growth. Most companies, including SimonGroup, Macerich, Glimcher, Taubman Centers and PREIT, reported same-center NOI increases in the fourth quarter, ranging from 1.8 percent to 4.8 percent. CBL & Associates, however, posted a modest decrease at 0.3 percent and General Growth Properties did not report on NOI growth at all.