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Duke Realty Corporation (DRE - Analyst Report), a real estate investment trust, announced the appointment of James B. Connor as its new Senior Executive Vice President (VP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO). This reflects a promotion for Connor from his former post of Senior Regional Executive Vice President.

James B. Connor is with Duke Realty since the last 15 years. In 1998, he joined the company as Senior VP, Industrial Operations. He was promoted to Regional Executive VP, Midwest Operations in 2003 and later to the post of Senior Regional Executive VP in 2009. Before joining Duke Realty, Mr. Connor worked for Cushman and Wakefield for 17 years.

With his vast expertise in the industrial real estate industry, Connor can be easily regarded as a veteran in the sector. We expect Duke Realty’s successful trajectory to gain further upside from his skilled guidance and supervision in the new post.

Lately, Duke Realty has been going through senior executives transitions. In May 2013, the company announced the decision of its Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Christie B. Kelly to quit her post. Consequently, Mark A. Denien substituted her. Kelly parted with Duke Realty to join Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL - Analyst Report) – another REIT – as the CFO.

Notably, in July, Duke Realty reported second-quarter 2013 results with core funds from operations (FFO) of 27 cents per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and a penny above the prior-year quarter FFO of 26 cents. Better rental operations as well as a reduction in general and administrative expenses attributed to the year-over-year increase.

Duke Realty currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other better performing REITs include Winthrop Realty Trust (FUR - Snapshot Report) and Chesapeake Lodging Trust (CHSP - Snapshot Report). Both these stocks have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Note: Funds from operations, a widely accepted and reported measure of REITs performance, are derived by adding depreciation, amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

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