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Liberty Offers Fiscal 2013 Outlook

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Liberty Property Trust , a real estate investment trust (REIT), has recently provided an initial guidance for fiscal 2013. At the same time, the company reiterated its earlier guidance for the current year, whereby it expects funds from operations (FFO) in the range of $2.57 - $2.59 per share.

The company presently expects FFO for full year 2013 in the range of $2.60 - $2.70 per share. The underlying assumption for the current outlook primarily hinges on a sedate economic recovery.

Liberty Property expects an overall rise in occupancy in both its office and industrial portfolios, with organic growth through increased development opportunities. At the same time, the company anticipates limited scope for acquisitions, as it releases space previously leased at pre-recession market rates.  

Based in Pennsylvania, Liberty Property provides leasing, property management, development, construction management, design management, and related services for a portfolio of industrial and office properties. The company has a strong portfolio of multi-tenant industrial and office properties in prime business locations in the U.S. and U.K., and operates across multiple markets that mitigate geographical risks.

Liberty Property specifically focuses on metro-office, multi-tenant industrial and flex properties and markets that possess strong demographic and economic fundamentals, which ensure a steady revenue stream for the company.

The company reports on the following geographical segments: Northeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, South, Philadelphia, and the United Kingdom. Each of the reportable segments of Liberty Property is managed separately in order to concentrate market knowledge within a geographic area.

Liberty Property is presently continuing with its portfolio repositioning program as it focuses on higher growth markets characterized by better job and rent growth prospects. The company also maintains a conservative balance sheet and offers a steady dividend payout to shareholders which augur well for its long-term growth.

We maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation for Liberty Property, which currently has a Zacks #3 Rank that translates into a short-term Hold rating. We also have a long-term Neutral recommendation and a Zacks #3 Rank for Duke Realty Corp. (DRE - Analyst Report), one of the competitors of Liberty Property.

Note: FFO, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, is obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

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