Mall owner General Growth Properties reported lower operating results in the third quarter and faces a rocky fiscal future, according to managers who held a conference call today to discuss earnings.
General Growth, which is the second-largest company of its kind in the country and owns several high-profile malls in Las Vegas, posted a third-quarter loss of 6 cents per diluted share, compared to a 4 cent loss in that category in the third quarter of 2007.
The company, with a portfolio that includes Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian, Shoppes at Palazzo, Fashion Show, Boulevard and Meadows malls, saw funds from operations fall 11 percent, or $23 million, to $185.4 million.
Fallout from the difficult quarter was exacerbated by an announcement from management that tough times could continue well into 2009 and that it may be awhile before dividend payouts resume.
The result was a steep decline in the value of shares in the company, which had already lost about 90 percent of their value in recent months.
“Right now, the most important thing for the company is to fix our balance sheet,” said Adam Metz, who became interim chief executive of General Growth last month during an overhaul of the upper management.
Metz also said the company hasn’t found buyers for Palazzo, Grand Canal or Fashion Show malls, which it put up for sale around the time of the management changes.
“Debt capital is an extraordinarily scarce resource.” Metz said.