Simon Anticipates Growth in Earnings, Cash Flow in 2021

by Kristin Harlow

INDIANAPOLIS — In its fourth-quarter earnings report, Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG) says it is confident it has turned the corner on a difficult 2020 and expects “growth in earnings and cash flow in 2021,” according to David Simon, chairman, CEO and president of the Indianapolis-based mall owner. Net operating income in the fourth quarter was $1.2 billion, a year-over-year decline of 23.9 percent. Simon points out that domestic rent abatements and higher uncollectible rents, primarily associated with retail bankruptcies, were the components of the decline.

In the fourth quarter, Simon completed its acquisition of an 80 percent interest in The Taubman Realty Group. The company is also opportunistic regarding its strategic investments in retail brands such as Lucky Brand and J.C. Penney that underwent bankruptcy in 2020. As of Dec. 31, occupancy at Simon’s U.S. malls and outlet centers was 91.3 percent. As of Feb. 5, Simon had collected 90 percent of its net billed rents for its U.S. retail portfolio for the second, third and fourth quarters combined. Simon’s stock price opened at $102.50 per share on Tuesday, Feb. 9, down from $143.06 per share one year ago.

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